I am sure many of us have heard some unbelievable stories of heroic efforts of ordinary people who came to the aid of victims of the tornado in Joplin one month ago. I personally have heard stories about nurses carrying patients down 7 flights of stairs. I have heard stories about ordinary citizens with pickup trucks acting as ambulances in transporting folks to locations in order to receive medical care. I know many folks who have personally been to Joplin just to help out even though they do not personally know anyone there. All of these folks are heroes in my book.
Providing the victims of the tornado in Joplin with housing, food, clothing and transportation is a wonderful thing. However, my guess is that the “need” in most demand now may be mental health services. I know of children in Joplin who are not able to sleep when they hear the wind blow because they are afraid of another tornado. I know of adults who are not yet able to function when they see the sky cloud up because they are afraid of another tornado. The anxiety level of folks who have been through this kind of trauma is overwhelming. This is very similar condition experienced by folks who serve in military combat when they come home…it takes time, treatment and sometimes medication to adjust. The folks who lived through the events in Joplin need this same kind of loving care and support.
The Missouri Department of Mental Health and other mental health organizations in the southwest part of Missouri have set up emergency services to serve the mental health needs of the residents of Joplin. This will be an ongoing concern long after the homes have been rebuilt. I encourage those who read this blog to consider donating your money to mental health organizations in the Joplin area to support trained staff that can help the folks in Joplin receive the quality mental health care they deserve.
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