The number of victims killed in the Turkey-Syria earthquake continues to climb…tens of thousands of people and counting. From afar, we see city blocks flattened and desperate families and rescue workers digging, listening and searching for survivors with fading hope.
What kind of mark does a natural disaster of this scale leave on survivors who have lost everything so suddenly? Is recovery for them even possible? And is there something unique about the trauma endured from an earthquake, hurricane or wildfire that is different from that of mass shootings, a terrorist attack or the daily threat of gun violence that is sadly commonplace in many U.S. cities?
APRIL NATURALE, a traumatic stress specialist who directed the New York State response to the 9/11, helped launch the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, and the National Disaster Distress Helpline.
ROBIN GURWITCH, a professor of psychology at Duke University School of Medicine and a senior advisor at the National Center for Child Traumatic Stress in the Terrorism and Disaster Program. She is currently in Moldova working with Ukrainian refugees.