Public Administration

California Wildfire Exposure, Vulnerability, and Mental Health: Who gets to recover and who does not?



The central goal of this study, therefore, is threefold. Firstly, identify the significant qualitative and quantitative studies that examine the impacts of wildfire on mental health. Secondly, the study examines both types of studies to find common grounds regarding the most vulnerable population and their mental health, their ability to seek professional help, and barriers to the road to recovery. Finally, this study provides evidence-based strategies for including more vulnerable members of society in receiving sufficient and timely psychological care to recover from PTSD, trauma, distress, and hopelessness. Migrant farmworkers, particularly younger female Hispanic and indigenous workers, suffer from the wildfire's long-term stress, PTSD, depression, and emotional distress. Furthermore, the continued COVID-19 deepens the gap, social stigma, and barriers to receiving sufficient mental health care to recover and rehabilitate traumatic wildfire exposure.


Thumbnail image of California Wildfires and Access to Healthcare (Hassan Afzal)-2021.pdf


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