Crisis counseling available to tornado survivors

This article is from The Ohio County Times-News. See the original post here

By Dana Brantley

Last month FEMA approved funding for free crisis counseling services to help survivors of the December tornado cope with trauma.

RiverValley Behavioral Health is working to identify those in Ohio County who might be in need of counseling services.

“We know there are people in the county, but we are having a difficult time trying to identify those families who were affected,” said Jessica Pierce, executive assistant and director of communications at RiverValley Behavioral Health.

The grant provides funding through Jan. 15, 2023, and those in need of assistance can seek counseling at any time through the nine-month period.

In announcing the funding, a statement from FEMA said a tornado disaster can shock the emotions of people who lived through it causing feelings of anger, depression, sadness, stress, or anxiety for months after the event.

Project Recovery Kentucky is here to help individuals and communities recover from the effects of natural and human-caused disasters. Those interested in talking with someone, recognizing common reactions to disasters, building coping skills for the recovery process, managing disaster-related stress and identifying and meeting children’s emotional needs are encouraged to contact RiverValley at 800-433-7291.

“Anyone can call that number to get connected with someone and follow up with a therapist,” Pierce said. “It is confidential and anonymous.”

Counselors can meet with adults and children affected by the disaster either in person or virtually, Pierce said.

There is also someone available to speak at schools, meetings, workplaces and places or worship to discuss, among other topics, ways to cope with and recognize those dealing with the effects of disasters.

“Some might not know they need counseling until they receive some information,” Pierce said.

The mission of Project Recovery Kentucky, is to assist individuals and communities in recovering from the effects of natural and human-caused disasters through the provision of communoity-based outreach and psychoeducational services. Project Recovery supports short-term interventions that involve the counseling goals of assisting disaster survivors in understanding their current situation and reactions, mitigating stress, assisting survivors in reviewing their disaster recovery option, promoting the use or development of coping strategies, providing emotional support and encouraging linkages with other individuals and agencies who may help survivors in their recovery process.

Published on May 5, 2022