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Strings Of Disasters Cumulate Stress

If you’re tired dealing with disasters–-you may not be alone.  

The Oklahoma tornadoes come on top of a string of major tragedies including national and local disasters.

South Dakota saw an ice storm and blizzard in 2013, a severe drought and wildfires in 2012, the 2011 floods, and seven federally recognized major disasters in 2010.

Weather related disasters are on an increasing trend, and they can take a toll on the mental health of those affected and those who respond.

On today’s Dakota Digest SDPB’s Charles Michael Ray speaks with an expert on the cumulative stress effect that can occur during a series of disasters.

Dr. Jerry Jacobs with the USD Disaster Mental Health Institute says the mental health of children needs to be considered during disasters.

“Whenever we have the deaths of children involved it tends to affect children more than other disasters.  They relate more closely to the deaths and injuries as children, and there will be a lot of focus on that in the media in the coming days I think,” says Jacobs.

Jacobs says parents should let children know they can talk about the Oklahoma tornado or other disasters they’ve seen on TV.

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