Pretest of Questionnaire "base"

Thank you for your participation in the research. The questions you have answered will help us understand people’s beliefs about catastrophes and how people react, feel, and cope after experiencing a catastrophe.

People respond to catastrophes in different ways and we would like to share information about some of the possible reactions following a catastrophe.

• After living through a catastrophe, it is very common for people to experience a range of feelings, which can be hard to understand and may cause discomfort. These feelings and emotions may include sadness, hopelessness, and a loss of energy to do daily activities. Additionally, people can develop an intense fear and anxiety in normal or routine activities. These emotions experienced after the event are normal. They are extraordinary ways of reacting and overcoming extraordinary events.  

• Many people find that their intense feelings associated with the catastrophes gradually reduce after a few weeks. You should seek professional help if these intense emotions persist longer than a few weeks or a month or interfere with day-to-day activity. Working with psychologists and/or mental health providers can sometimes be helpful for those who experienced a catastrophe. Research has also shown that individual and group therapy proved to be effective for people who have experienced catastrophes.

• Even though all the above-mentioned symptoms are normal not all the victims experience them or only in part. There is not a specific time or amount of suffering. Each individual is different

People may find different strategies helpful in coping with the impact of a catastrophe. For example, some people may find connecting with others help them process the event and receive support. Turning to others for support doesn’t have to mean talking about the catastrophes. However, it is important to be around other people when you feel able to, as they can help with your recovery and coping.

• Besides psychological interventions, the general population must be involved in the recovering process of victims of a catastrophe. For example, it is recommended that bad news, if possible, can be delivered by someone (previously trained) that is close to the one that is going to receive the news (e. g. a relative).

• When talking about the catastrophes with children, it is important to use language that is easy to understand. Some people may believe that young children are not affected by catastrophes. However, studies have shown that children can benefit from talking about the traumatic event and may feel more secure after doing so.  

Some of the questions in this survey may have made you feel uncomfortable or distressed. If you or anyone you know is feeling depressed or psychologically distressed, there is help available. Below is contact information for some helpful services.

Other Counselling Services in the Greater Toronto Area:

  1. Toronto Psychological Services 416-531-0727

  2. Distress Centre of Toronto 416-408-4357 (HELP)

  3. Help Line for All Youth HEYY 416-423-4399 (HEYY)

  4. Good 2 Talk (for post-secondary students) 1-866-925-5454

  5. The Freedom from Fear Foundation in Toronto is an organization established to help people with anxiety disorders. They have a network of support groups set up throughout Ontario 416-761- 6006

  6. Drug & Alcohol Registry of Treatment (DART)/Treatment info-line 1-800-565-8603

  7. The National Eating Disorder Information Centre has a national register of private therapists, medical programs, and information 416-340-4156

  8. Mood Disorders Association of Ontario 416-486-8046 OR call TOLL-FREE at  

  9. A.C.C.E.S. (Accessible Community Counselling and Employment Services)
    Toronto: 416-921-1800 Scarborough: 416-431-5326 Mississauga: 905-361-2522

  10. Family Services Association of Toronto 416-595-9230

  11. For a list of more health, social, community, and/or government community resources/services, you can access it via or you can dial 2-1-1 in Toronto 24 hours a day. This phone number is free, confidential, and the trained staff is multilingual.

However, remember you can contact the Principal Investigator of the project, Dr. Clara Gesteira Santos to ask for specific information on the project (  


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