A team of researchers including the University of Delaware's Jennifer Horney, founding director of the epidemiology program in the College of Health Sciences, examined the impact of 281 natural disasters on suicide rates during a 12-year span. Horney and others looked at disaster declaration data and found overall suicide rates increased by 23 per cent when compared to rates before and after the disaster. Suicide rates increased for all types of disasters -- including severe storms, floods, hurricanes and ice storms -- with the largest overall increase occurring two years after a disaster, according to an article published in The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention. The findings suggest a need for more mental health resources being made available to address challenges that can arise after a natural disaster, Horney said. Policy changes also should address the duration of these funding resources.