June Tornado Continuing To Take Mental Toll On Residents
BRIMFIELD (CBS) – Two months after the tornado, the damage on the outside is starting to settle on the inside.
“The emotional part of this is starting to emerge,” said Ellen Sussman, who lost her entire Brimfield home.
Sussman says the work ahead is overwhelming. Her children are also starting to experience the aftermath of the storm in different ways.
“Everytime there’s a storm we get pretty nervous,” said Sussman.
WBZ-TV’s Alana Gomez reports.
Likewise, regular dedicated volunteers are starting to hit an emotional hump.
“You feel very frustrated as a volunteer like I’m not doing enough, what more can I do,” said Gina Lynch, a church volunteer who helps out everyday.
Mental health professionals say now is a critical time for both victims and volunteers to take care of themselves.
“If mental health needs aren’t met then people are going to come to a screeching halt,” said Mary Jane Foley, who works with the tornado victims on a regular basis.
Foley said emotional health depends on physical health. It may sound trivial, but getting enough sleep and staying hydrated are important. Second, she added that it is essential to try to maintain some type of routine.
Mass. Gov: Tornado Recovery
“Try to keep yourself as much as possible in line to what you did prior to all of this,” said Foley.
She said it’s also important to take a break.
“Key into some relaxation. What helps you stay sane whether it’s working out or knitting,” said Foley.
Last, but not least: “get support whether that be from family or friends.”
Sussman said she and her family do have a great support network. They also tried to take their annual vacation. The most vital key to her emotional well-being are those helping her and her fight to stay optimistic.
“We just try to find people to talk to and remind ourselves we’re alive and we look forward to rebuilding,” said Sussman.
Those in need of post-disaster counseling or mental health help are welcome to call 781-915-8047.