Nashville, TN -- Crisis counseling is now available to assist victims of the recent tornadoes and severe storms that struck several areas around Tennessee. Those needing assistance should call 1-800-809-9957.
"Even if you are proud of your ability to deal with disaster, returning to the home where you've lived for a large part of your life and finding it ruined can be devastating," said John D. White Jr., state coordinating officer. "Under these circumstances there is no shame in seeking help, and we encourage people to do so."
Crisis counseling is provided under a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant administered through the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities.
"Acknowledging the stress you've been through in this disaster is a first step toward dealing with it," said Holly Hollingsworth, deputy federal coordinating officer. "Talking to a counselor can help you take stock of your situation."
Experts note that each individual responds differently to a major disaster. Some take it in stride. Others are deeply bothered by the disruption to their normal lives. Stress can make a crisis worse to the point where you may not be able to do what's necessary to get through it.
Watch for signs of stress. Often other people will notice problems before you do. Listen to them. Listen to what family members are saying and talk over the disaster with them.
Feeling stressed during this time is normal. Seek professional help if you cannot shake your feelings of despair or other signs of stress. These signs might include short temper, frequent arguments, greater consumption of alcohol, smoking more than usual, getting upset over minor irritations, difficulty sleeping, loss of concentration and depression.