Hurricane Harvey and Irma have caused devastating losses that have significantly impacted communities, individuals and families. We realize that many of our students at the University of Michigan may be directly or indirectly impacted by the devastation that these natural disasters have caused. The aftermath of these storms cause chaos and can lead to emotional upheaval and a sense of instability within one's environment, especially if you are from, or have family in, the affected areas. We can experience a wide range of reactions and feelings. The impact and the response can be different for each of us, so it can be important to pay attention to your specific feelings, and your emotional needs.
Here are some common reactions that can occur after a natural disaster/traumatic event:
- Intense sadness, grief, anger
- Sleep disruptions
- Difficulty concentrating and communicating
- Headaches/stomach problems
- Loss of appetite
It is important to take care of yourselves and one another during these difficult times.
Coping Strategies - Self-Care
- Talking over your concerns with other people in a safe, comfortable environment could be very helpful
- Actively find ways to not be alone: Spending time with friends, family, colleagues, or social groups who are willing/able to listen to you can be extremely helpful. Even if you do not feel like talking, being with others who are experiencing the same feelings and talking about them can be comforting.
- Turn to your spiritual and religious faiths: If you belong to a spiritual or religious community, gathering together for worship, prayer, discussion, a meal or other forms of religious or spiritual expression, can strengthen the bonds of human connections and be a force of comfort in your life.
- Get involved! Sometimes by helping others it can help us. Find ways to lend support to others by volunteering
- Utilize CAPS support services: Many support services are available to provide you with a safe space to share concerns, worries, fears, and/or anxiety with a professional counselor. Walk-in crisis support is offered here at CAPS 10AM-6PM (M-TH) and 10AM-4:00PM (Fri)
Below are some tips for how to get involved with relief efforts: