Ben Adler/Capital Public Radio
Placer County mental health officials are trying to help residents make sense of the devastation from the 49 Fire.
When a fire hits, Placer County’s Mental Health Director, Maureen Bauman, says it affects everyone differently.
“Really what we know about disasters and people’s response to disasters is there isn’t one way that people respond.”
Since reactions vary from anger, hopelessness and shock she says it’s critical to talk about how you’re feeling with friends and family. Bauman also recommends:
“Making sure that rest is happening, exercise, meditation, relaxation and you know really trying to get back into some sort of a normal routine to the extent that that’s possible.”
Bauman says joining a support group or holding a memorial for a lost home can help healing as well. She says there’s a common system throughout California counties to connect fire victims with mental health services, like counseling. In Placer County she says officers from multiple Health and Human Services program are available at the one-stop assistance center near the fire scene. Bauman says it’s likely that everyone will feel anxiety, sadness and guilt. She says to seek professional help if these feelings start to interrupt daily activities.