like the widespread flooding. So, if you have a If you would like more help with reassuring your children or
tendency to rely on alcohol or other substances others, call Project Recovery. You will receive help in figuring
when stressed and you would like to talk with out what makes the most sense for you and your children's
someone about how to cope, this may be a good needs - from sending you information about helpful ways of
time to call Project Recovery. talking with your children to connecting you with experts in The flooding that hit our communities
childhood trauma. in late June has challenged us all.
Help for Children This is a time when reaching out to
A child's reaction to flooding will depend on many fac- When Problems Seem To Be and supporting each other matters.
tors, including whether the child was directly affected by Getting Worse
injury or death related to the flooding; loss of a home due Emotional and physical reactions to the devastating effects
to destructive forces of nature; the age of the child; of the flooding are common. For many people, these reac-
whether the child has experienced trauma in the past; tions are short-lived. For some, their reactions persist. It is
and, how much of the disaster the child has witnessed in a good idea to seek supportive help if you feel that reactions
person or on TV. Loss of trust in adults and fear of the to the disaster are lasting too long or getting worse instead
event occurring again are responses seen in many chil- of better.
dren and teens exposed to traumatic events. Other reac-
tions vary according to age.
Children 5 years of age and younger - Typical reac-
tions include fear of being separated from a parent, Project Recovery Information Numbers
fear of the dark, increased crying, clinging to a parent, Otsego County
and a return to younger behavior, such as thumb
sucking and bed-wetting. 607-433-0700
Children from ages 6 to 11 - Common responses may Tioga, Broome and Delaware Counties
include withdrawal, disruptive behavior, trouble pay- 607-221-7041
a resource for
ing attention, avoidance of school, sleep problems,
irritability, outbursts of anger, and stomachaches. Chenango County
Adolescents - Teens show symptoms more like those 607-337-4128
of adults, including flashbacks, nightmares, emotional Montgomery County
numbing, depression, substance abuse, and antisocial
behavior; they may also feel extreme guilt because of 518-843-9960
a failure to prevent injury or loss of life. 1-866-870-9935
Parents and other adults can help children cope. When In the midst of the disaster, you, your
adults take time to listen to children as they talk about neighbors and loved ones pulled together
events and feelings, children feel reassured. Remember to Support for this program comes from the Federal Emergency and responded to immediate concerns.
take the opportunity to respond to and follow children's Management Agency and the Center for Mental Health Services.
cues at that point in time. If scheduled for later, the
You protected your family and
opportunity is lost. Also, you don't necessarily need to reached out to help others.
have answers. What will help children most is nonjudg- During the flooding,
mental listening. Let children know that their feelings are Michael F. Hogan, Ph. D., Commissioner
New York State Office of Mental Health as you concentrated on safety
common and it is good to talk about them. Let them
know that it is okay to cry and be sad and that they do
and survival you may have felt
not have to be "tough." numb with shock and disbelief.
You responded to pressing needs,
doing whatever needed to be done.
Now that you, your family and your friends are sur- For example, we could arrange: Be on guard and constantly alert.
veying the damage, dealing with the aftereffects of the Be jumpy and startle easily at sudden noises.
Meeting with a small group of relatives to hear how they
flooding, and in many cases beginning to rebuild, it is
have been feeling since the disaster, to help them under- Have a worsening of chronic medical problems.
common to experience an array of new emotions:
stand their feelings, and to help them think of ways to sup- Be exhausted.
feeling overwhelmed and sad, resentful and angry.
port each other in handling those reactions
Recognizing such emotions and coping with them in
Training the health care staff of local businesses to help Help for You and Other Adults
healthy ways will be important to you and your com-
munity as part of your recovery process. employees recognize signs that may indicate trouble cop- There are a number of ways you can help yourself
ing with the disaster and what to do or others:
The purpose of this brochure is to introduce you to a
project that can help aid recovery and healing. The When you call Project Recovery, you will be provided with rel- Please take care of yourself and try to remember to H-
brochure also provides some information on common evant information and can be connected with a trained coun- A-L-T: Don't get too Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired. Try
reactions to disasters, coping methods and tips to selor. He or she will talk with you about your concerns, work to eat nutritional foods, get adequate sleep, and share
help you determine if you might benefit from addi- with you to determine how best to meet your needs, offer your thoughts and feelings with people around you.
tional support. options, and provide links to resources you may need. If you
Learning how others are coping can be helpful. When
would like to find a support group, for example, Project
The project is called Project Recovery and it offers possible, you might wish to walk daily or learn how to
Recovery can help you do this.
free, confidential supportive counseling services to manage stress with relaxation techniques. These types
individuals, families and groups affected by the Listed below is information about common reactions to stress of strategies can make a difference.
floods of June 2006. and trauma. Also listed are some tips for coping with stress, You may have developed new problems because of the
caused by the flooding: flooding, such as losing your job due to destruction at
What does Project Recovery do? Emotional Reactions - People feel and express their reac- your workplace. At Project Recovery, you will find up-to-
tions to a crisis differently. They may: date information on where to go for help.
At a time of crisis, many people find it helpful to have
someone who listens, someone to talk with and Remember that stress can cause physical problems so it
Feel hopeless about the future
someone who cares. This is what Project Recovery is important to pay attention to its effects on your
Feel detached or unconcerned about others everyday health. Acute or prolonged stress increases the
does. It offers support to persons, families and even to
small groups, such as employees of a business hit Feel numb and unable to experience love or joy risk of heart attack or stroke, and can worsen some con-
hard by the flooding. We can try to help you under- Be irritable or have outbursts of anger ditions (like stomach problems and headaches) and
stand your feelings and reactions to the flooding and make others (like diabetes and arthritis) harder to man-
Become easily upset or agitated
its effect on your life. We help you to think about age. So, if you're under a doctor's care, you'll be taking
Have frequent distressing dreams or memories good care of yourself by keeping your appointments and
options and to find people or agencies that can assist
you with disaster-related problems. Avoid people, places and things related to the flood taking medications as prescribed. And remember, regu-
Have trouble concentrating lar exercise is always a good way to relieve stress and
cope in a healthy way.
Who can receive counseling services from Feel things are unreal
Project Recovery? Where? Dealing with grief related to the flooding can be chal-
Feel very nervous, helpless, fearful, sad, or angry
lenging. If you would like extra help in dealing with
Anyone…. If the flood has affected you, your family,
Physical Reactions - How people physically react to a disas- losses, you might wish to reach out to trusted members
your employees, your spiritual or community groups,
ter varies. They may: of your community for support, such as your spiritual
then you can receive free, confidential counseling
advisor or a friend. For a free, private referral for sup-
services. We will provide services anywhere, including Have an upset stomach, eat too much or too little, or have
port, you can call Project Recovery.
homes, businesses, schools, colleges, houses of wor- other gastrointestinal problems. Experience a pounding
ship, shelters, and community centers. You can have heart, rapid breathing, sweating, or severe headache when Avoid drinking excess alcohol or using other substances
services scheduled at a time that works best for you thinking about the flooding. to numb feelings like sadness or anxiety. People recover-
or your group. ing from nicotine, alcohol or drug use can relapse and
Have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or sleeping
those with alcohol and substance abuse problems are
likely to develop more serious problems after a disaster