ANDOVER, Kan. (KSNW) — The aftermath of the Andover tornado is not just taking a physical toll on the families it affected but a mental one as well.
Although there were no fatalities, countless families are grieving the losses they suffered. One family said that mental health is playing a big role in the recovery, though.
“Ever wonder what life looks like after a tornado?” Kacy Wells, whose parents lost almost everything, said. “We ask for time, prayers, and financial help.”
Wells says her mental health, along with her family’s, is in dire straits. She made a Facebook post to summarize their current situation.
“Spending three days washing clothes from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. in two different houses…sharing vehicles because you no longer have enough scavenging muddy fields looking for any last item that might have been valuable to us…donated food that no one has an appetite to eat. Sleep becomes a rarity. Every noise is scary. Every raindrop or feeling of wind is a nightmare,” the post reads.
Linda Mueller, a Red Cross volunteer and grief and trauma therapist, has been volunteering in Andover.
“It’s a reminder that secondary grief and even survivor’s guilt is present. You know ‘My house is okay, but my neighbors isn’t,'” said Mueller.
Mueller says most people overlook the mental health aspect of recovery that affects entire communities.
There are two therapists available in Andover to help those who need it. There is also a dedicated mental health hotline for those trying to recover emotionally from the tornado. You can reach the 24/7 hotline at 1-800-985-5990.
In addition, Reach Out 2 Someone Else, Inc., a local nonprofit, is offering six paid sessions with a clinician to help process grief. You can click here to visit their website and fill out a contact form.