While most of us are focused on the holidays — the events of spring and summer are still creating problems for some Iowans. Lila Starr of the Iowa Department of Human Services says there’s help for those people still trying to deal with spring and summer disasters. She says “Iowa Recovers” is a program of crisis counseling available in all of the 75 counties declared federal disaster areas after the spring flooding and tornadoes. The program runs through June of next year. Starr says it’s the first Christmas since many of the people lost their homes. She says it can be very difficult, not only because of the loss of property, but because many people lost a lot of sentimental items. She says not having those old ornaments, or pictures can really put a strain on people. She says the program helps people deal with the added stress. She says anyone who feels a need to talk to someone, or would like someone to come out to their home and talk with them, because they’re experiencing stress or feeling sad, they can call the Iowa Concern Hotline. The hotline number is:800-447-1985. Starr says people might think its unusual to be feeling this way, but she says it’s normal. She says the program is designed to make sure specifically that people don’t ahve issues that worsen. Starr says most people get back to normal rather quickly after a disaster, but many just need someone to talk to. Starr says families may want to consider developing new traditions this holiday season that will not cause traumatic memories to spoil the festivities. And she advises you to refer a family or individual to Iowa Recovers if you notice that they’re having a hard time during the holidays.
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