Food and retail
meat members, and Warehouse members of Local
1167 may contact the Employee-Member Assistance
Program (EMAP) 24 hours a day.
Or members may call
the Insurance Department for
instruction on how to access mental health
disasters leave emotional casualties. Several
years ago it was Hurricane Hugo and the San
Francisco Bay Area Earthquake. More recently,
it was El Nino on the West Coast that left
many people suffering in its wake.
Natural disasters not only
destroy homes and landscapes, but can also wreak
havoc with the emotional well being of the survivors.
Often the fear and emotional pain do not end
when the disaster ends.
Post-traumatic stress disorder
(PTSD) is a syndrome experienced by many who
have been exposed to a stressor outside the realm
of normal human experience.
Physical and emotional reactions to a disaster
are normal, though they vary greatly from person
to person. Common immediate reactions include
feeling overwhelmed, anxious, angry, irritable,
helpless, frustrated and emotionally numb.
A person may experience nausea,
stomach cramps, heart palpitations, muscle tremors
and sweating spells. During a catastrophe, many
people suppress their fear in order to take quick
action to get themselves and their loved ones
to safety. Some deny the danger subconsciously
to protect themselves form being overwhelmed
by feelings of fear and sadness.
Delayed Stress reactions can occur days, weeks
or even months after a disaster. Many become
depressed, fatigued and apathetic towards their
work, hobbies and sports. The mind may be filled
with grief over those who died and lost personal
Anger is a natural reaction,
as fire departments, public agencies or utility
companies are blamed for not warning victims
or poorly handling the catastrophe.
People may have difficulty
sleeping, or experience nightmares and visual
flashbacks, and be easily startled. They may
fear the event is going to recur when they hear,
smell, see or experience situations associated
with the original disaster.
Because these symptoms may
occur well after the disaster, sufferers may
not realize they are experiencing Post Traumatic
Stress Disorder (PTSD).
The severity and duration of PTSD is determined
by a number of factors. Reactions differ
depending on the extent of personal hardship
and loss, the number and type of casualties,
the sense of personal responsibility, the sense
of identification with the victims and ones emotional
condition before the trauma.
Although the stress response
syndrome is normal, it has the potential to grow
into a chronic problem if the symptoms are prolonged.
It is especially damaging if the sufferer denies
that anything is wrong or mistakes his/her reactions
Counselors are ready and able
to help anyone who would like counseling as a
result of any disaster you or your loved ones
may encounter. Although disasters cannot
be prevented, intervention by a professional
counselor can help resolve a potentially chronic
problem. Its okay to ask for help if you have
any questions regarding what you are feeling
or experiencing. Use the number listed below
for assistance. All contact is confidential.
Food and retail meat members,
and Warehouse members of Local 1167 may contact
the Employee-Member Assistance Program (EMAP)
24 hours a day at 1-800 461-9179. Drug industry
members should call 866 268-2510 or call the Insurance Department
for instruction on how to access mental health