Despite back-to-back wildfires, Washington’s Methow Valley got no federal disaster mental-health support. So locals did the work themselves.
Disasters, including wildfires, hurricanes and flooding, are intensifying as climate change accelerates. Already, the U.S. has faced nearly 40 such events costing at least a billion dollars each in the past decade, more than during any previously recorded period.
Studies show symptoms of anxiety, depression or post-traumatic stress following disasters. And mental health experts worry the psychological costs from these increasingly common cataclysms — with a pandemic now overlaid on top — could be unprecedented.
InvestigateWest is seeking out survivors of wildfires who are willing to take a 15-minute survey on how they are faring now. The survey asks: Are you still trying to rebuild your life after a natural disaster? How has the coronavirus pandemic impacted your efforts?