Mental health and disaster recovery session held in Jefferson City

Coping with disaster session

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - A mental health discussion is scheduled for Thursday evening in Jefferson City. 

Community members can learn how to address trauma and mental wellness after a disaster in the "Coping with Disaster" session at the YMCA Knowles Annex Building, 424 Stadium Blvd. in Jefferson City. The session is from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

Jefferson City is recovering from nearly two months of flooding and a devastating EF-3 tornado in May. Officials say more than 600 buildings were damaged in Cole County when the tornado struck May 22. Most of those were residential buildings.

Mental health expert Josh Varner will present at both sessions.

"We're really trying to bring some community awareness to this issue and then let people kow what kind of supports are available," he said.

Varner recommends seeking counseling if your emotional distress continues.

"Flashbacks, nighterrors, anxiety, a lot of emotional flooding, like you're angry or sad," he said. "If you're seeing big changes since those events, then it's time to seek professional help." 

Another session is scheduled from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday at Eldon High School. The same tornado that later hit Jefferson City on May 22 also hit Eldon with EF-1-strength winds.

Both sessions are open to the public and free childcare and food is provided. Call 573-681-3743 for more information.

Catholic Charities and the United Way are resources for those affected by the tornado.

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