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April's Fury 2011, mental health, natural disasters, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), prolonged grief disorder (PGD), psychological first aid (PFA)



  1. Wynn, Stephanie T.


ABSTRACT: Natural disasters leave survivors suffering physically, psychologically, and spiritually. An EF4 tornado on April 27, 2011, in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, known as April's Fury, raised the question of how mental health practitioners (MHPs) might respond to address psychological needs, rather than being exclusively assigned to offer physical support immediately following a disaster. This article proposes planning ahead for MHPs to provide psychological first aid (PFA) in the immediate aftermath of a catastrophe. Combating psychological issues early will hopefully help reduce the development of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or prolonged grief disorder (PGD) in survivors.