Psychological Impact of Wildfires

As California residents displaced by  last week’s  wildfires begin the recovery process a reissued RAND study is a reminder of the potential impact of the event on their mental health. The study, conducted after the October 2003 California firestorm, surveyed 357 people who sought assistance from the American Red Cross and government relief centers. Within days of the mandatory evacuation participants completed baseline self-administered questionnaires assessing demographic characteristics, initial subjective reactions and degree of fire exposure. A follow-up mail-in survey three months later measured symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and major depression. The results found that 33 percent showed evidence of probable major depression, while 24 percent exhibited probable PTSD. Check out latest I.I.I. information on the wildfires.  

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