More than seven months after tornadoes and flooding destroyed homes and businesses around the state, Iowans are struggling with the emotional toll the disasters have taken on their lives. Tina Potthoff, a spokesperson for the Rebuild Iowa Office, says federal grants have made it possible for crisis counselors to help storm victims deal with the stress.
"Around Christmas time, as we head into the new year, we are starting to see a little bit of an increase in people reaching out and getting help for mental health and stress related concerns," Potthoff said. Nearly 40,000 Iowans have registered with FEMA for disaster assistance. Many more have been in touch with counselors.
Potthoff says counselors have had more than 64,000 contacts with Iowans recovering from this summer’s disasters. Of those contacts, more than 11,100 have been in the form of individual crisis counseling sessions.
Potthoff says, "We want to make sure people know help is available." Iowans needing help can call the Iowa Concern Hotline at 1-800-447-1985.