Group offers counseling services after back-to-back natural disasters

WATSON, LA (WAFB) - With two floods and two rounds of tornadoes, Louisiana's people have faced a lot in the past year.

As cleanup continues across the area, south Louisiana families once again find themselves picking up the pieces of their lives and finding the strength to move on in the shadow of Tuesday's tornado outbreak.

The strong storms mark the fourth dose of natural disasters to hit the region in less than a year. Many are still reeling from historic flooding in August that killed more than a dozen people and displaced thousands, still another then-record setting flood happened in March and just shy of a year ago, a crop of twisters killed at least three people and injured countless more.

Crews with Louisiana Spirit had boots on the ground Thursday, as they went door-to-door to lend a hand.

"They have been through several traumatic events and they may be experiencing or being re-traumatized," Nicole Coarsey with Louisiana Spirit said. "Even if they weren't directly affected by the tornado, severe weather can actually trigger a traumatic event for them."

Coarsey added that while people are currently in response mode, negative feelings can slowly begin to creep in and while Louisiana's people are resilient, sometimes that just is not enough.

As bad as the all too familiar signs of devastation are Coarsey said the piles of debris are nothing compared to what some people's mental state could be after dealing with back-to-back disasters. It is why she said it is important for people to get help.

"It's definitely better to get treatment and to just talk to somebody now, talk to somebody early," Coarsey explained.

While there is sometimes a negative stereotype associated with seeing a counselor, Coarsey said it is not a weakness, but actually a sign of strength.

"You can be vulnerable and it can be very scary to reach out for that help, but we want to encourage that," she said.

If you or someone you know wants to seek counseling services from Louisiana's Spirit, click HERE for more information.

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