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Working To Prevent Fire Trauma From Becoming PTSD


Bodies heal and homes can be rebuilt, but what has the fire emergency done to our psyches? A lot, potentially. People who had to evacuate and lost their homes experience a level of trauma far beyond the stresses of daily life.

Merritt Schreiber at the Lundquist Institute wrote the book on helping people deal with trauma from disasters, with a focus on psychological first aid for children and parents. He visits to talk about ways to approach and assist fire victims.

Amy Herbst also joins the conversation; she is the Student Wellness Coordinator for the Medford School District. The district just opened an Emotional Wellness Hotline.

We got a bunch of phone numbers:

  • Rogue Valley Emotional Wellness Hotline (English, M-F 8A-4P): 541-842-3643
  • Same hotline, for Spanish speakers (M-F 10A-2P): 541-842-3644
  • All-hours Jackson County Crisis Hotline: 541-774-8201
  • SAMHSA National Disaster Distress Hotline: 800-985-5990
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255

And for the rest of us, a reminder: people don't start thinking about suicide because you bring it up. If you are concerned about a person, ask how they are doing.

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The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily talk show focused on news and interests across our region of Southern Oregon and Northern California. Angela Decker is the senior producer, Charlie Zimmermann is the assistant producer, and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.