All-natural disasters are devastating. However, some, like the recent bushfires, are contained within geographical areas leaving others to extend practical assistance, care, guidance and support. The COVID-19 epidemic affects us all, raising the crucial question of how those who remain physically well can continue their social and emotional work while under this threat.
An interview study by Meyering, Braaf, Breckenridge and James on the impact of cyclone Yasi on workers and organizations, identified key factors ranging from the physical consequences to buildings and infrastructure to emotional impact on workers. They reported that workers often felt torn between their obligation to family and clients and suffered the same consequences. At a time when there is increased demand for services, workers are, experiencing the distress of the disaster in their own lives. Those personally affected reported an accumulation of trauma as they listened to the stories of loss and hardship which mirrored their own.
However, some organizations did respond in ways that supported workers. Debriefing, team building to allow people to reach out to each other and the opportunity to share stories were ranked highly by many respondents. Interagency meetings which allowed for a larger network of support were also valuable. Despite the hardship many agencies also reported positive outcomes for organizations, including the development of new frameworks and pathways for reaching and responding to their clients.
What is clear is that we will survive the uncertainty, fear and distress if we work together, share our resources and support each other when it all feels too hard.
Barrett-Meyering, I., Braaf, R., Breckenridge, J., and James, K. Ch 7.Responding to Domestic Violence in the Wake of Disasters: Exploring the effects on Services and Workers in Larry Winter Roeder, (ed) GENDER AND DISASTER MANAGEMENT Humanitarian Solutions in the 21st Century
Specialist Online Counselling
Support and therapeutic services for people experiencing the impact of their own and others’ distress
Bower Place provides confidential expert online consultations for individuals, couples and families experiencing the impact of the COVID-19. When humans experience extraordinary external stressors, individual and relationship distress between couples and within families can escalate. Delivery of services using secure on-line technology protects the health and wellbeing of all parties. Two tiers of therapeutic services are available.
Counselling support for those who are offering services to the community including:
o Medical Practitioners
o Aged care workers
o Teachers and education professionals
o Disability workers
Counselling Support for patients, clients, students and parents, who require assistance with whom these workers come in contact.