Coping with Loss

by Jennifer Tipton

During this difficult time, there is a need to know how to cope with loss.

The 5 stages of grieving that occur with any loss:

  • denial
  • anger
  • bargaining
  • depression
  • acceptance.

Feelings of “this isn’t real” to “how could this happen” to “if only…” It is not uncommon to bounce back and forth between these feelings, what you are feeling is a normal process of coping with loss.

Many of the fortunate who did not to lose their home are feeling guilty, “why was my home spared when, so many others were not?” You too, are not alone.

Patrick Zarate the Acting Director for Ventura County Behavioral Health stated, “a wide range of emotions and reactions are normal and natural for such an event. For most people, the responses to a stressful event are temporary and generally do not become a chronic problem. Ventura County Behavioral Health has made more than 70 deployments since the fire began. We have probably committed more than 2,000 hours and see that the need will probably persist. The Department along with our allied first responders is continuing to be on site at shelters, but has also communicated out at a variety of venues including radio and the web.”

For information about community resources dial 211 or call 1-800-339-9597 or visit

If you would like to speak with a professional, Ventura County Behavioral Health encourages residents to call the Crisis Team. They are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Help is available in English, Spanish, and other languages. Ventura County Crisis Team 1-866-998-2243. Resources available:

Text “ThomasFire” to 898-211 for up-to-date fire information.

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