Mental health toll of the Springdale tornado

SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — There is a physical toll of last week’s tornado but there is also an invisible toll, the one it takes on mental health.

Traumatic events can impact each person differently, so Carisa Kessler at Burrell Behavioral Health, said its important to check in with yourself and try to avoid comparing your experience to others.

“In an area where we see storms, maybe come every year and we can’t prevent them from coming that can often make us feel powerless,” Kessler said.

Kristy Miller lives in Woodridge Estates Mobile Home Park where damage from the tornado is widespread.

“When you go through a disaster like this, there’s nothing worse than feeling like there’s nobody out there who cares,” Miller said.

The financial aspects can be especially stress inducing if someone doesn’t have insurance.

“This is the conundrum that the unfortunate aspect is the reality is 98% of them don’t,” Miller said.

Kessler said it’s important to take it day by day throughout the recovery process.

“I would encourage trying to take it one step at a time and try to narrow it down to maybe what’s the most important thing right now and not looking at it as a large picture,” Kessler said.

The tornado can also be difficult for children to understand. Kessler recommends teaching kids about storms and limiting social media consumption.

“It is hard for them to maybe understand what’s going on right now versus what maybe happened many years ago,” Kessler said.

If you are in immediate mental health crisis you can call the 24/7 hotline at 1-888-518-0108.

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