Community-level resources may affect residents' mental health following a natural disaster
In a study on the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, residents of communities with high unemployment were at elevated risk of disaster-related post-traumatic stress, but only when individuals were assessed 25–28 months post-disaster and not when they were assessed 13–16 months post-disaster.
The results suggest the need for ongoing support to economically disadvantaged communities in which residents have endured disaster-related stressors.
"Our study demonstrates that we need to remember disaster-affected communities, particularly those with pre-existing socioeconomic vulnerabilities. These communities might continue to need assistance years after the disaster took place," said Dr. Sarah Lowe, lead author of the Journal of Traumatic Stress study.