Title

Coping styles and mental health outcomes of community members affected by black summer 2019–20 bushfires in Australia

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

International Journal of Mental Health Nursing

Volume

31

Issue

5

First Page

1176

Last Page

1185

PubMed ID

35731685

Publisher

Wiley

School

School of Arts and Humanities

RAS ID

52699

Comments

Usher, K., Durkin, J., Douglas, L., Coffey, Y., & Bhullar, N. (2022). Coping styles and mental health outcomes of community members affected by black summer 2019–20 bushfires in Australia. International journal of mental health nursing, 31(5), 1176-1185. https://doi.org/10.1111/inm.13035

Abstract

The aim of this study was to investigate coping styles, posttraumatic stress, and mental health symptoms among a sample of community members affected by 2019–20 Australian bushfires. Using a convenience sampling approach, an online survey was used to assess a range of coping strategies, posttraumatic stress and symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress among the affected community members of Black Summer bushfires. The results revealed that study participants reported moderate symptoms of depression and stress, and severe levels of anxiety. Additionally, participants reported use of both approach and avoidance coping strategies following the bushfire event as well as experiencing symptoms of posttraumatic stress, such as having intrusive thoughts and symptoms of avoidance and hyperarousal. Despite the durability of many individuals, others remain affected by the event and there is evidence there may be longer term mental health consequences of the bushfires for some people. Given these findings, it is imperative that mental health services be readily available for people in the bushfire-affected areas. Mental health nurses have an important role to play in supporting individuals affected by disasters. Awareness of the short- and long-term impacts of disasters on the mental health of people is paramount for mental health nurses.

DOI

10.1111/inm.13035

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