Experts give their tips for recognizing, recovering from Harvey-related trauma

Recovering from Tropical Storm Harvey will take more than construction and replacing the personal items damaged



by floodwaters, according to psychologists and Katy-area social service professionals. Children and their guardians are uniquely vulnerable to the lasting effects of trauma and depression from natural disasters.

Dr. Julie Kaplow, director of the Trauma and Grief Center at Texas Children’s Hospital, and Dr. Andrea Bastiani Archibald, chief girl and family engagement officer with Girl Scouts of the USA, said an event like Harvey can affect children in different ways, regardless of whether they were displaced from their home.

Kaplow started the Harvey Resiliency and Recovery Program within two weeks of the storm, and said that based on previous hurricane events like Katrina, she expects emotional recovery will take some time.

“I think we’ll need this for a while,” Kaplow said. “I would say this is going to be at least a two-to-five year initiative.”

Archibald conducted a Facebook Live talk Nov. 28 and said it is important to let children talk about their fears and anxieties, even if it seems countertintuitive to healing.

“Why are we talking about this now?” Archibald asked rhetorically. “Well, recovery takes a long time.”


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The governor held a briefing where he also provided an update to the state’s response to the storm.