CHARLESTON – West Virginia residents facing the loss of homes, businesses or cherished possessions in the wake of the recent storms and floods could find themselves struggling to cope with the emotional impact of the disasters.
Everyone who lives through a disaster is affected by it in some way. It is normal to feel anxious about your own safety and that of family and friends. Profound sadness, grief, and anger are normal reactions to an abnormal event, and acknowledging such feelings is a first step toward healing, psychologists say. Everyone has different ways of coping, but remember that seeking or accepting help from community counseling programs is healthy and worthwhile.
Children can be particularly affected by disaster-related emotional stress.
Warning signs among children and adults that suggest the need for crisis counseling or stress-management assistance include:
• Difficulty communicating or sleeping
• Depression, sadness or feelings of hopelessness
• Increased use of drugs and/or alcohol
• Limited attention span, poor performance at work or school
• Headaches/stomach problems, flu-like symptoms, disorientation or confusion
• Reluctance to leave home
• Mood-swings and frequent bouts of crying and
• Overwhelming feelings of guilt and self-doubt.
Crisis counselors are available to assist applicants who may be experiencing emotional distress. To learn where you can get help, phone 866-867-8290. You will be referred to the nearest county Crisis Counseling center. In the Logan-Mingo area, the Crisis Counseling phone number is 304-792-7130.
For more information, visit http://www.fema.gov/rebuild/recover/cope.shtm or http://www.bt.cdc.gov/mentalhealth