Red Cross offering mental health counseling for storm victims rebuilding during coronavirus pandemic
BURKE COUNTY, Ga. - Nearly 200 people are still without a home just one week after 29 devastating tornadoes ripped across Georgia. Because of the coronavirus, these families are facing what the Red Cross is calling a "double trauma."
A tornado ripped through the Robinson's home in Burke County, GA.
The Red Cross' mental health team says this loss coupled with restrictions from the coronavirus is forcing families into a more stressful recovery process than ever before.
Christine Robinson and her family lost nearly everything they owned when a tornado moved over their home in Burke County.
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Robinson and her six family members are now living in a motel as they try and rebuild. The Red Cross is stepping in not only to help families find physical shelter in hotels and motels. Mental health counselors are helping families find emotional peace.
"They have their own private room, but it's also very isolating," said Mark Daddona of the Red Cross disaster mental health team. "They need to have community and to talk with people to see the person in the next room is really feeling what they're feeling," said Daddona.
Counselors said not having families shelter together in a church, school or gym because of social distancing can make the recovery process tougher.
"One parent may watch all the kids for a while and let the other parent just take a break to take a walk, and you really can't do that because we want our kids to social distance too, and so it just adds more anxiety and more stress," Daddona said.
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On top of adding stress for families, the organization is feeling the stress of the pandemic too.
"Normally, we'd have many people driving, reaching out and bringing food, and right now, that isn't happening," said Daddona.
For Robinson, she is thankful for her temporary home and knows a more permanent peace will come soon.
The Red Cross reminds families that catastrophic storms like the one that destroyed Robinson's home are a good reminder to get your family prepared with supplies and a plan before the next storm hits.
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If you would like to help Georgia families impacted by the tornadoes, please click HERE and specify where you would like your donation to go.
If you'd like to help the Robinson family, they have created a GoFundMe you can donate to HERE.
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