Emotional Distress Resources for Adults


Picking up the pieces following a disaster can be challenging, so here’s a variety of tools and resources that can help both disaster survivors and relief / recovery workers.


PFA online includes a 6-hour interactive course that puts the participant in the role of a provider in a post-disaster scene. This professionally-narrated course is for individuals new to disaster response who want to learn the core goals of PFA, as well as for seasoned practitioners who want a review.  It features innovative activities, video demonstrations, and mentor tips from the nation’s trauma experts and survivors. PFA online also offers a Learning Community where participants can share about experiences using PFA in the field, receive guidance during times of disaster, and obtain additional resources and training. Click here to Learn More!

Relevant Links: 

Psychological First Aid Field Operations Guide for Community Religious Professionals

Psychological First Aid for Families Experiencing Homelessness

Psychological First Aid for Youth Experiencing Homelessness

SAMHSA.gov |  “It’s normal for people to experience emotional distress during a flood. Simply anticipating the possibility of what could be lost or destroyed during a flood can cause people to experience overwhelming anxiety or lose sleep. Other signs of emotional distress related to floods include:

  • Feeling helpless or hopeless
  • Fearing that forecasted storms may develop into a hurricane, even when the chances they will are low
  • Constant yelling or fighting with family and friends
  • Excessive absences from work or school
  • Having thoughts and memories related to the flood that you can’t get out of your head

Learn more about warning signs and risk factors for emotional distress related to floods and other disasters.”


Where Can I Get Help?

“If you or someone you know shows any of these symptoms for two weeks or more, whether you know they are in relation to a flood or if it is unclear how they started … Talk with us. You are not alone! Call the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 for support and counseling. The Disaster Distress Helpline is a national hotline that provides 24/7, year-round crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster.

This toll-free, multilingual, and confidential crisis support service is available to all residents in the United States and its territories. Spanish-speakers should text Hablanos to 66746. English speakers in U.S. territories text TalkWithUs to 1-212-461-4635. Calls and texts are answered by trained, caring counselors from crisis call centers located throughout the United States.

Standard text and data message rates will apply when texting from mobile phones. International text and data rates may apply from within U.S. territories and free association nations.


Who is at Risk for Emotional Distress?

People at risk for emotional distress due to the effects of floods include:

  • Flood survivors. People living in impacted areas, particularly children and teens, previously exposed to traumatic, life-threatening situations during a flood. These people may also have once been displaced.
  • Friends and loved ones. It’s normal for friends and family members located outside the impacted area to feel anxious about people who are in direct proximity to a flood.
  • First responders and recovery workers. These individuals may experience prolonged separation from loved ones (depending on the severity of the flood) and show signs of mental fatigue.

source:  SAMHSA | Resources for Flood Suvivors



SAMHSA – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Resources for Flood Suvivors

Tips for Survivors of a Traumatic Event – Managing Your Stress (PDF, 928 KB) – Learn the normal reactions to a traumatic event and what the signs of stress are. Understand how to manage your own physical and mental health, how to relieve stress, and when you need to get help.


Department of Veterans Affairs

Self-Help and Coping – Learn what to expect after a traumatic event and how to deal with stress reactions. Find resources that can help you learn how to cope. You can also access the PTSD Coach Online for self-help tools to help you build coping skills.


Coping with Disaster – It’s normal for anyone to experience a range of feelings and show signs of stress after a disaster. Learn how adults and children may react differently. Learn the different signs of disaster-related stress, how to ease them, and when to seek help.

National Institute of Mental Health

Coping with Traumatic Events – Find resources to help you cope with a traumatic event, and get information about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). There are also two short videos about research on traumatic stress.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Coping with a Disaster or Traumatic Event – The effects of a traumatic event can last a long time. Find resources that can help you, including crisis hotlines and information for individuals, families, and schools. Learn the effects of stress as well as how to cope with different types of emergencies.

NC State University Extension

Video Series:  “After the flood” covers a diverse set of topics from coping with emotional difficulties, how to safely clean out a flood damaged home,  how to preserve damaged photographs, and more!  (Available in English and Spanish )   Click here to learn more.