When we think of disaster relief, we often envision getting people out of physical harm. The psychological damage of a tragedy can last much longer. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after a disaster can plague survivors immediately or years later, but talking with someone immediately can help. Boston Cares partners with the American Red Cross of Massachusetts, which activates trained Disaster Mental Health volunteers when the need arises. After the Marathon bombings, these volunteers fanned out over the city, talking with people and providing comfort. After a traumatic event, getting support can help prevent normal stress reactions from getting worse and developing into PTSD. We can start to heal ourselves and others when we simply connect with our support system to share our experiences and lend an ear and a hug to someone else.
Learn more about the Red Cross of MA’s Disaster Mental Health volunteers.