Local agencies continue to make mental health resources available to area residents affected by the Memorial Day tornadoes.
The emotional and mental effects of surviving a natural disaster can manifest days, weeks, months or even years after the event, according to Montgomery County’s Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Board Executive Director Helen Jones-Kelley.
“A disaster survivor can experience fear, anxiety, have trouble sleeping, irritability, feel helpless and overwhelmed, or even have nightmares related to the tornado or severe storm,” she said.
First responders and volunteers are also at risk of these symptoms, experts said.
The following services are available:
• The Montgomery County Family Assistance Center, being run by Public Health and ADAMHS, will continue to be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday the week of June 17. It is located at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1500 Shiloh Springs Road. The center offers access to one-on-one intervention services to assist with trauma and mental health needs for anyone affected by the tornadoes, with trained specialists able to make referrals.
• Free support group for adults, run by trained professionals at Riverscape Counseling, will be offered every Tuesday until need subsides, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at 11 W. Monument Ave., Suite 100.
• The Ellis Human Development Institute at Wright State University’s School of Professional Psychology is offering free psychological first-aid for adults affected by the Dayton tornadoes. Staff are available to talk about the impact of the experience on affected individuals, their friends and families and help them mobilize their strengths and seek support. Free walk-in services are being offered at the Ellis Institute at 9 Edwin C. Moses Blvd. in Dayton on Mondays and Tuesdays from 1 to 4 p.m. through June 25. Those interested in longer-term counseling can call the Ellis Human Development Institute at 937-775-4300.
• Greene County officials are providing information, self-help resources, and companionship for those affected by the tornadoes at Beavercreek Community Library, 3618 Dayton Xenia Rd. from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 18. Additional days and hours will be added as needed.