Is the tornado still causing you stress or anxiety? There’s help

Damage from tornadoes isn’t only about your homes and trees. Surviving a tornado can create feelings of stress, anxiety and fear as you deal with loss, clean-up and repair. Many people struggle to cope when there is a change in their life, particularly one that has such an impact on families, neighbors and the community as the May 22 tornado in north Minneapolis.

Recovery from the tornado can be very challenging for many people, and the response or reaction can vary from individual to individual. But whatever your situation, there is help available. Families can call NorthPoint Behavioral Health at 612-543-2566 to get information about NorthPoint services or for an appointment.

“Post traumatic stress disorder – PTSD – is generally thought of as something that happens to people in war. But any event that is sudden and traumatic can cause people to become more anxious, angry or worried – which can be signs of PTSD,” said Dr. Annice Golden, director of Behavioral Health at NorthPoint Health & Wellness Center. “The impact can be overwhelming.”

A coalition of groups, including the Northside Community Response Team, NorthPoint Health & Wellness, Hennepin County and the City of Minneapolis are using a grant from the Minnesota Department of Human Services to help community members identify signs of PTSD and seek help.

There is help available if you or someone you love is:

Golden said, “Everyone has periods of sleeplessness or worry, but when the emotions or feelings negatively impact daily functioning or cause you to avoid places or situations, then it’s time to seek help.”

The emotional impact of a disaster may not be experienced until months after the actual event. Experience of a disaster can be very traumatic for all ages including children and adolescents.

NorthPoint Health & Wellness Center, Minneapolis Public Schools and many other community agencies have health care and supportive services that may be appropriate.

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Last updated Apr. 10, 2012