Columbia Journalism Investigations

Natural Disasters Are Bad For Mental Health. Tell Us Your Story.

May 6, 2020
Photo by 272447/ Pixabay https://pixabay.com/photos/tornado-destruction-joplin-missouri-1650683/

In partnership with the Center for Public Integrity, Columbia Journalism Investigations and Side Effects Public Media.

Every year, weather-related disasters ravage communities across the United States: floods in the Farm Belt, fires in the West and hurricanes along the South and East coasts.

Scientists say these disasters also lead to skyrocketing rates of depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. One survey of Hurricane Katrina survivors found that a third had mood disorders, and suicidal thoughts more than doubled. Many studies suggest similar outcomes after wildfires and floods.