April 16, 2012
It has been seven months since Hurricane Irene ripped through VT leaving a path of destruction. It has been seven months for survivors to get back on their feet and move on with their lives. Starting Over Strong (SOS) Vermont has been working with survivors across the state to assist in healing, teaching stress coping techniques and connecting survivors with services that help them get back on their feet, for all of these seven months.
But our work is not over. In fact it has just begun. Did you know that in Washington County alone out the 319 survivors that SOS VT has worked with 19 of individuals have had emotional responses such as, sadness, anxiety, and irritability, 17 have had physical responses such as fatigue and exhaustion, and 5 have had behavioral responses such as being on guard and feeling agitated. These responses are normal after going through a trauma of a disaster like Tropical Storm Irene. There are still many people who need the help and support from SOS VT. It could be your neighbor, a friend or even a family member, and getting support to address these issues is very important.
SOS VT has several support groups and educational workshops across the state to address the myriad of needs we are still hearing about when talking to survivors. One such support group is a four part series on stress reduction. This series will begin on April 18th at the Senior Center in Northfield. The four part series will include self-soothing techniques, guided meditation, stress reduction movement, and mindfulness exercises. Come learn techniques that can help you feel more relaxed and rejuvenated. The tools you learn during this workshop are skills that you can bring home with you to reduce your stress and soothe anxiety. The series will help survivors who are still feeling the effects from the Hurricane- overwhelmed by what to do next; being tearful or crying for no apparent reason, feeling numb, withdrawn, or disconnected; trouble sleeping, or nightmares about storms or floods-than this series is for you.
The Stress Reduction Series will take place at the Northfield Senior Center, 168 Wall St., Northfield, VT on April 18, 2012 from 6:00pm-7:00pm. The series will be ongoing every Wednesday for the next four weeks. Refreshments will be provided. For more information please call 802-279-8246.
Starting Over Strong Vermont deploys teams of crisis support workers throughout communities most impacted by Tropical Storm Irene to conduct community and home-based outreach and psycho-educational services. SOS VT offers free, short-term interventions that promote individual and family recovery to those individuals experiencing distress and/or related emotional and behavioral difficulties from the flood. The program is designed to assist individuals of all ages to better understand why they feel the way they do and how to begin to feel safe and confident again going forward. SOS VT can also help identify and refer individuals who may be in need of more intensive supports.
SOS VT is supported by FEMA grant funding and is administered by Washington County Mental Health Services in conjunction with other designated mental health agencies and community services in the hardest hit regions of our State.
If you or anyone you know is experiencing distress or symptoms from the flooding please call SOS VT’s toll-free number for help, 1-855-767-8800, or visit our website at www.startingoverstrongvermont.org.
Source: Department of Health
Last Updated at: April 16, 2012 07:40:38