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Thousands Receive Assistance From American Red Cross Mental Health Workers Organization Provides Tips, Resources in Wake of California Wildfires
Date:10/25/2007

WASHINGTON, Oct. 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Since Sunday, hundreds of mental health professionals trained by the Red Cross in disaster response have provided services to thousands of people affected by the California wildfires. Estimates of the number of homes lost are growing and some have lost loved ones, pets and treasured possessions. Mental health workers are currently screening, assisting and providing referrals in Red Cross shelters, client intake centers and local government aid centers.

"Anyone who experiences a disaster can be affected in some way, whether directly or indirectly through location, loved ones or exposure to media coverage," said Rob Yin, Manager, Disaster Health and Mental Health Services. "Attending to the mental health needs of those affected is an important part of the larger Red Cross disaster response."

The Red Cross offers the following tips for those dealing with the emotional impact of this disaster:

Tips for Dealing with Stress:

-- Take a few deep breaths to relax

-- Count to ten

-- Prioritize your tasks

-- Tend to everyday activities and try to keep to your normal routine as

much as possible

-- Take time to assess your physical health and seek medical care when

appropriate

Tips for Helping Children:

Disasters come in many forms and affect children and adults differently. Children take their cues from their parents and other adults and when these important people in their lives cope well in a disaster, children are more likely to respond positively. Adults can help children cope with the recent wildfire disaster by following some general steps:

-- Encourage children to talk and listen to their concerns

-- Take time to provide factual information about the disaster and plans

for ensuring their ongoing safety

-- Offer them a sense of protection. Speak with confidence about the

situation, and work with them t
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SOURCE American Red Cross
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
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