Disasters can take a toll on emotional health

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - As people attempt to get their lives back in order following the tornado, the American Red Cross would like to stress the importance of taking care of your emotional health as well as your physical health.

Many people have been forced from their homes and they have obvious needs like food and shelter. But many people may also experience a variety of difficult feelings and thoughts to include anger, confusion, shock, disbelief, and grief. It's important to know how to cope with these feelings.

The Red Cross provides licensed mental health specialists to help people cope with their situations and disaster workers in Red Cross shelters are trained in psychological first aid. Aid stations are also equipped with information that has the necessary coping skills needed to get through the time times.

Some coping skills include limiting exposure to the sights and sounds of the disaster, focus on the positive, reach out and accept help from others, try to get back into a routine, stay connected with your family and support systems, be patient, and for your children allow them to feel upset and to express their feelings and thoughts.

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