Saturday, July 30, 2011

Teams deliver ‘psychological first aid’ on the street

July 29, 2011
Teams deliver ‘psychological first aid’ on the street
By Emily Younker

JOPLIN, Mo. — When Daryl Whitecotton came to his front door on Wednesday, he was greeted by his new friend, Susan Myers.

For a few minutes, Myers drilled him on his post-tornado living conditions. Did he need more ice? More water? Any help in getting some of his utilities hooked up?

And then came a question Whitecotton likely wasn’t expecting: Had she given him a stress ball yet?

“I ain’t got stress,” he joked, accepting the red ball and squeezing it in his right hand as he talked.

Whitecotton is one of about 21,000 people across Joplin who have received “psychological and emotional first aid” from Healing Joplin, a collaborative effort led by Ozark Center to help tornado survivors put their lives back together, said Debbie Fitzgerald, project manager.

Additional support

U.S. Navy Chief Stanley “Mike” Wade will discuss his experience with post-traumatic stress disorder in talks this weekend. Wade was diagnosed with — and has since overcome — the disorder following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and several military deployments.

Wade’s presentation is set for 10 a.m. today in the Justice Center at the Missouri Southern State University, 3950 E. Newman Road. Residents who think they might be experiencing psychological effects from the tornado are encouraged to attend.
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Teams deliver psychological first aid on the street

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