Natural disasters are acts of nature that cause destruction to a person’s environment, disrupts daily life and can have significant impacts on a person’s physical and mental health. Disasters can include events such as mouse plagues, earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, hurricanes, volcanic eruptions, fires, droughts, and heat waves (Mara, 2004).
Here in Australia, we experience many of these disasters and emergencies, sometimes even at the same time. Nearly 160 million people are affected by natural disasters each year (WHO, 2012). Natural disasters can impact a person’s wellbeing and health long-term.
Natural disasters can cause:
- loss of livelihood, such as employment or housing
- loss of social cohesion, such as community separation and limited social resources
- loss of cultural identity, from physical displacement or destruction of important cultural sites (Mara, 2004).
All of these factors can impact significantly on the wellbeing of individuals and communities.
In an emergency please call 000
Mental Health Line – 1800 011 511 – 24 hr service across NSW
This information is for educational purposes. As neither brochures nor websites can diagnose people it is always important to obtain professional advice and/or help when needed.
This information may be reproduced with an acknowledgement to WayAhead – Mental Health Association.
The Association encourages feedback and welcomes comments about the information provided.