MHRB: Referrals, support offered to those affected by tornadoes


BEAVERCREEK — In the wake of the Memorial Day tornadoes, Dayton area and Beavercreek residents are rebuilding not only physically but also emotionally.

“It is natural for disaster survivors to feel angry, stressed, guilty, or helpless,” said Greta Mayer, chief executive officer of the Mental Health & Recovery Board of Clark, Greene & Madison Counties (MHRB). “But oftentimes, symptoms of distress may be less obvious. Having trouble sleeping, being more irritable than usual, or experiencing nightmares also are signs of distress.”

MHRB, Greene County Public Health, Greene County EMA, the Ohio Crisis Response Team, United Way, and The American Red Cross are encouraging people to reach out for help. Information, self-help resources, and companionship will be provided for those affected by the tornadoes this week at Beavercreek Community Library, 3618 Dayton Xenia Road, Beavercreek. All residents experiencing distress are welcome, including individuals who just need someone to listen.

Trained companions for emotional support will be available 3-7 p.m. Wednesday, June 12 and Thursday, June 13 and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 15. Additional days and times will be added as needed.

After the immediate crisis passes, the weight of loss and life-disruption can continue to feel unsettling, MHRB officials said.

“If your symptoms of distress persist or increase in frequency, duration, or intensity, it’s okay to seek professional help,” said Mayer.

Referral to local clinics for longer-term help will be available at the library events this week.

Hour-long educational information sessions also will be offered by Ohio Crisis Response Team 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 12 and Thursday, June 13 and 11 a.m. Saturday, June 15. Topics include: crisis reactions, long-term stress you may have or experience because of the tornadoes, and helpful coping mechanisms.