THE Health Service
Executive (HSE) is distributing an information
leaflet highlighting the signs of distress and
trauma that could affect people hit by last week's
freak floods in Inishowen.
As families nationwide make final back-to-school
preparations, some people in parts of the peninsula,
including Muff and Burnfoot, have seen their normal
lives destroyed by the once-in-a-century weather
While schools appear to have escaped the damage,
parents, teachers and guardians are being urged in
particular to monitor the wellbeing of young people
affected by the crisis.
The HSE has begun distributing leaflets entitled
'Coping with Flooding' and has opened a helpline for
families ‘overwhelmed’ by the unprecedented level of
disruption and displacement to their lives.
The agency said the flooding that hit north Donegal
on Tuesday evening was “very shocking”. As a result,
it said people directly affected would likely feel
distressed and emotional and suffer a range of
reactions including disbelief, anxiety, flashbacks
The HSE also urged parents via its information
pamphlet, to look out for signs of trauma and
distress in their children and young teenagers.
“Similar to adults, children can also be upset
following a flood. They may be frightened by the
flood itself, or be upset by disruptions that it
might cause in their daily routines.
“It is not unusual for children to show changes in
behaviours such as becoming more easily upset,
getting angry, being afraid to sleep alone,
difficulty separating from parents, behaving as they
did when they were younger, for example,
thumb-sucking, bedwetting,” the guidelines state.
“They may also want to continue talking about the
flood and show flood themes in their play. Younger
children may also feel guilty that they ‘caused’ the
flood because of some previous behaviour.” The HSE’s
intervention comes as communities throughout
Inishowen continue to rally in support of friends,
relatives and neighbours. Several fundraisers have
already taken place while a number of charity shops
have been operating as drop-off depots for
much-needed clothing, bedding and furniture.
Meanwhile, Buncrana GAA held an ‘Open House’
yesterday providing community outreach as well as
food, support and laundry facilities to those in
need. The HSE Floods Helpline for Donegal is 074 91