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Let it go! Social worker warns against post-hurricane stress

Dr Sylvia Simmons (File photo)

Claiming that a number of persons are severely stressed because of properties lost during Hurricane Irma, social worker Dr Sylvia is urging them to not only seek professional help to let go of the pain but to remember material possessions can be replaced.

“What we find is a lot of people are finding difficulty in releasing these things. People are consumed with the depression and looking at their enormous loss and in their minds, ‘how am I going to rebuild?’” said Dr Simmons.

“Stress does kill and it will kill people fast.”

The social worker, who is also executive director of local charity organization, Family Support Network, is advising persons lamenting their losses to focus instead on the fact that they still have life.

“Yes, you lost your roof or your house, or your car or your clothing; some people lost everything. But, you have to still step back and say ‘at least I still have my life’. At the end of the day, all these other material stuff can be replaced, but life cannot be replaced, once it’s gone it’s gone,” she reasoned.

She is also urging those finding it difficult to cope to seek counseling and stay strong for their children.

“A lot of the times kids need their parents to be there for them, love them and to spend time with them, let them know that we don’t have all the things that we once had, but we are here for you. Those are the things that they need to hear from their parents so they can have a better perspective on what they value.”

Hurricane Irma made landfall in the territory on September 6, causing widespread destruction to homes and properties. Two months later, there are still persons living in shelters.

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