Lifeline is encouraging all media to publish the 13 11 14 Crisis Counselling Line on all stories related to local, national and international disasters so that people can access emotional support as needed.
TUESDAY MARCH 14, 2011: Lifeline is urging people to seek emotional support following a spate of disasters that have rocked the Asia Pacific Region in recent months.
A snapshot of the devastated regions includes floods in Pakistan in July 2010, floods in Central Queensland in December 2010, floods in South-East, Central Queensland, Victoria and Tasmania in January 2011, floods in Sri Lanka in January and February 2011, Cyclone Yasi and floods in north Queensland in February 2011, earthquake in New Zealand in February 2011 and earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown in Japan last week.
Natural and manmade disasters are extremely challenging for people directly affected, but given our increasingly globalised society, these traumatic events may also affect family and friends who have loved ones in the affected regions or those who have experienced grief and loss in the past and are reminded of these feelings.
As these are all such extraordinary circumstances beyond our control, it’s very useful for people to have tips on how to manage, both physically and emotionally.
Lifeline Community Recovery Manager Richard Johnson said our challenge as individuals and as a community is to ensure we look after ourselves, our families, our friends and other people we know.
“People under stress are often so busy dealing with day to day life they do not notice the physical and emotional signs that indicate they are not coping.
“It’s important to watch out for signs of stress in ourselves and in others and access support,” he said.
“Some signs to look out for could include unusual edginess, grouchiness and difficulty in concentrating or noticing that some tasks you usually take in your stride have become large and even insurmountable.
“During these tough times, emotions that we rarely or don’t usually feel such as fear, irritability, guilt and helplessness, are normal.
“The stress of floods, cyclones, earthquakes, tsunamis and threats of nuclear disasters can cause people to experience a range of emotions.
“Talking calmly and openly to someone you trust about how you’re feeling allows you to release those emotions, helping to relieve tension and put things in perspective.
“Remember, during times of disaster, everyone in the community is likely to be experiencing similar emotions, so if you feel you’re finding it difficult to cope and are unsure of what the future may bring, please reach out and share your feelings with family, friends or those in helping professions,” said Richard.
“If you don’t feel comfortable talking to someone you know, telephone helplines like Lifeline are also available for confidential support and advice.
For emotional support call Lifeline’s 24 Hour Crisis Counselling Line on 13 11 14.
Media Contact: To arrange an interview or photo opportunity, please contact Lifeline Public Relations Manager Elissa Jenkins 3250 1966, 0409 894 200, elissa [dot] jenkins [at] lccq [dot] org [dot] au.