Typically with natural disasters, such as hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes, flooding, etc., most of the efforts of first responders are geared toward victims' physical health and needs - and understandably so. Often, those are high-acuity needs, especially in the wake of a natural disaster.
But Hutchinson implores healthcare providers not to forget about victims' mental healthcare as well in these situations. Given that issues are not immediately visible, there's a tendency to dismiss behavioral healthcare until the problems have grown significantly.
Mental-health illnesses and conditions, such as PTSD, chronic depression, addiction and anxiety are commonly reported after a traumatic event," Hutchinson said in the article. "And often times, people don’t realize the trauma they’ve experienced until weeks or even months after a hurricane, flood, fire or other event has passed.