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Red Cross Provides Mental Health Tips for Sandy Anniversary

Red Cross Provides Mental Health Tips for Sandy Anniversary.

Superstorm Sandy, the biggest disaster to hit the U.S. in more than five years, left widespread devastation of property as well as immediate and lasting emotional needs for many people affected by the storm.

Fear, frustration and sadness were emotions felt after the storm and that continue today, and the first anniversary of Sandy’s landfall on October 29 could trigger memories and emotions for people.

During times of disaster, the American Red Cross knows that emergency needs not only involve food, water and relief items, but also emotional support.

Here are five emotional coping tips for the one-year anniversary of Sandy:

  • Simplify your schedule before and several days after the anniversary.
  • Limit media exposure to coverage of the storm—TV, radio or newspapers.
  • Schedule time with those you find supportive.
  • Expect yourself to have reactions that mimic your reaction from a year ago, and know these are predictable and shouldn't worry you. Remember what coping has worked for you in the past and implement those skills.
  • If you have children in your life, speak with them in age appropriate ways about what they may experience. Know that behavioral regression in children is common as an anniversary reaction.
  • The Red Cross provides emotional support during and after times of disaster through its trained disaster mental health workers, and provided more than 113,000 health and mental health contacts following Sandy’s landfall. In addition, the Red Cross has provided grants to Visiting Nurse Service of New York, FEGS Health & Human Services, and other groups that are offering mental health services to people affected by Sandy.

    The Red Cross also is partnering with organizations providing mental health services, including the Mental Health Association of New York City,, and Mental Health Association in New Jersey, Both organizations have coping suggestions for the first Sandy anniversary on their websites.

    If you need additional support, consider calling the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 or Project Hope 1-800- 543-3638.

    About the American Red Cross:

    The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or visit us on Twitter at @RedCrossNY.