Surfside condo collapse

Psychiatrist Gives Tips on Dealing With Aftermath of Condo Collapse

Local psychiatrist specializing in PTSD gives us some tips on dealing with aftermath of the Surfside condo collapse.

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As the situation in Surfside continues to unfold, some may be experiencing added stress.

Dr. Flavia van Riel, who is specialized in the treatment of PTSD, says the best way to help someone going through severe trauma is to be patient and understanding.

She suggests offering support by sending a text or making a phone call and to not pressure the person into talking if they're not ready.

"So you need to respect, sometimes, the mood swings, the not wanting to discuss what happened," said van Riel.

"Their neighbors were able to run out. They were able to save themselves." Bettina Obias has not heard news of her aunt and uncle missing after the building collapse in Surfside, Florida, but she is preparing for the worst. She spoke with neighbors felt the building shaking and evacuated before the collapse, and met with President Joe Biden to discuss grief and make a point about climate change.

She added that the uncertainty of the situation as the rescue efforts continue is also stressful.

"Not knowing what happened, you, your loved one can really leave you with hopelessness, helplessness and eventually can lead to depression," van Riel said.

But there's help available, and the sooner the better, according to the doctor.

The Red Cross has a free 24 hour, 7 days a week hotline called Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990.

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