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Supportive Tips and Resources for Hurricane Season Anxieties, Fears

Dr. Larry Antonucci's Blog Posts

Posted:

At the start of the hurricane season, I reminded you through this column to ensure your health and medical needs are on your emergency checklist, which is very important. As I have been talking to people throughout Lee Health and our community, I recognize the stress and anxiety so many people are experiencing at the thought of facing another hurricane season. It is understandable and normal to feel that way, especially as many in our community are still recovering from Hurricane Ian’s impact and devastation.

Our Lee Health Behavioral Health team compiled this list of effective coping skills related to natural disasters that I thought would be helpful to share here, too:

  • Seek out family and community support systems
  • Establish and stick to a realistic daily routine
  • Focus on maintaining self-care
  • Make sure you are consistently getting enough sleep
  • Try to reduce the overall stressors in your life
  • Limit the amount of news you watch, read and listen to
  • Find ways to give back to help others and empower them
  • Decrease or avoid substance use
  • Seek out individual professional support, crisis counselors or group therapy opportunities

In addition to support available locally, the Lee Health Behavioral Health team says there are national hotlines focused on disaster distress, including:

The bottom line is that however you are feeling, you are not alone! Our community experienced a traumatic, catastrophic event. Mental health issues following an event like a hurricane can affect people for years. Heed the advice of our Behavioral Health team, seek the support of others and take advantage of the Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday to stock up on essentials so you feel more prepared. Visit https://floridarevenue.com/DisasterPrep/Pages/default.aspx for the dates of the next tax holiday and the list of qualifying items.

For more information about Lee Health Behavioral Health, please visit https://www.LeeHealth.org/locations/find-a-location/behavioral-health-center.

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