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Mental Health and the Flood

Our prayers are with everyone affected by the flooding. It is common to feel distress and a wide range of emotions when these types of devastating happen. We encourage you to pay attention to how you are doing. Take care of yourself and identify support systems. There’s no right or wrong way to feel. Ask for help if you are struggling. Our therapists are here if you have questions concerning yourself or someone you know.

Watch for common warning signs of emotional distress

Eating or sleeping too much or too little

Anger, feeling edgy or lashing out at others

Overwhelming sadness

Pulling away from people and things

Not connecting with others

Lack of energy or extreme tired

Feeling like you have to keep busy

Having unexplained aches and pains, such as constant stomachaches or headaches

Feeling helpless or hopeless

Excessive smoking, drinking, or using drugs, including prescription medications

Worrying a lot of the time

Thinking of hurting or killing yourself or someone else

Having difficulty in home or work life

Take care of yourself. Try to eat healthy, avoid using alcohol and drugs, and get some 

exercise when you can even a walk around the block and deep breathing can make a 

difference to relieve stress.

Reach out to friends and family. Talk to someone you trust about how you are doing.

If you have children, talk to them. Reach out to family and friends for support. You/They may feel scared, angry, sad, worried, and confused. It’s okay to talk about what’s on your mind. 

Limit your consumption of news. The constant replay of news stories about the flooding can cause and anxiety and make some people relive the event over and over. Reduce the amount of news you watch and/or listen to on all devices.

Understand there will be changes. Life may be different for quite some time.

Get enough sleep. Go to bed when you are ready to sleep, avoid using cell phones or laptops in bed, and avoid drinking caffeine or alcohol at least one hour before going to bed. If you wake up and can’t fall back to sleep, try writing what’s on your mind in a journal or on a sheet of paper.

Exercise. Physical activity can help improve mood and reduce stress.

Establish and maintain a routine. Try to eat meals at regular times and put yourself on a sleep schedule to ensure an adequate amount of rest. 

Avoid making major life decisions. These types of decisions can already be stressful and are even harder to adjust to directly after a disaster.

Try to accept whatever reactions you have related to the disaster.  Take every day one-at-a-time and focus on taking care of your own disaster-related needs and those of your family.

Contact us if you need help. For the Spencer location, use the number for our Sioux City office. 712.252.4547.

Additional 24/7 support numbers:


National Suicide and Crisis Line

English and Spanish

Call or text 24/7


SAMHSA Distaster Distress Help Line

English and Spanish

Call or Text 24/7


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