American Red Cross Flooding Update & Taking Care Of Your Mental Health (Audio)
On “Acadiana’s Morning News,” American Red Cross Acadiana Volunteer Leader Bonnie Robert Will addressed two main concerns as Acadiana residents continue with flood cleanup – areas of continued need and taking care of yourself mentally.
Will pointed out that even though residents in Lafayette and Youngsville are moving back into their homes, they still shouldn’t be forgotten about because they are still fighting mold and keeping it away and the mental stress of what is happening to them. She also pointed out there are pockets of people in Acadiana who are still in homes that are surrounded by flood water.
An example she used was in rural St. Martin Parish by Cypress Island, where residents can’t go back home yet because the water is taking a long time to drain out.
KPEL’s Bernadette Lee then asked Will about mental health and how does one ask for help when he/she is trying to show strength to their family. This was Will’s advice:
“I would go to one of the shelters and ask if there’s a mental health worker there…Everybody needs to take care of themselves. We get down, we get distraught and we don’t take care of ourselves and that can cause issues. We all need to take inventory of ourselves everyday.”
Will also suggested that you take a little bit of time each day to do something that is normal to you.
And, finally, Will brought some encouraging news that there are now only four shelters currently operating in Acadiana (Lafayette, St. Landry, Iberia and Vermilion ) and that they closed the one in Crowley over the weekend (zero population).
She estimates about 400 people in Acadiana are still in shelters, about a little less than 4,000 people are in shelters across the state.