Researchers urge addressing mental health implications as a result of Cyclone Imogen

After the landfall of a tropical cyclone on the northern Australian coast, researchers at the Western Sydney University are urging for disaster relief and recovery services to aid in addressing the mental health implications.

As published in the Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology, the same team initiated a survey on a landfalling cyclone in Northern New South Wales, just a few years prior.

The study assessed the devastating effects of a landfalling cyclone, particularly among business owners. In their survey, nearly 25 percent of business owners with moderate to severe flooding to their businesses, had reported experiencing severe mental health problems.

About half a year after the cyclone ravaged their communities, business owners reportedly felt supported in their local community, however.

“Flooding is an increasingly prevalent natural hazard worldwide and can have a profound impact on the mental health of those directly and indirectly affected,” researchers stated in a news release.

“Our study highlighted the particular vulnerabilities of rural business owners—who may have additional economic pressures as a result of loss of income, stock and equipment damage, and customer and employee shortages and insurance disputes.”

The study was authored by Keersten Cordelia Fitzgerald, Sabrina Winona Pit, Margaret Rolfe, John McKenzie, Veronica Matthews, Jo Longman & Ross Bailie.

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