Care for mental health critically important for those affected by April 29 tornado

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) – Crisis therapist Linda Mueller has been on the ground in the areas impacted by last month’s tornado in Andover. She’s helping people and families, some who are angry and others who are simply in denial about what they’ve lost. Emotions are high.

“Because disasters happen out of nowhere, never planned, there’s a gamut of emotions that people go through,” Mueller said. “Like a tornado, in this experience, their safe haven at home is gone.

“People (are) dealing with survivor’s guilt and people are talking about how they can’t sleep. They have no appetite and just think about it constantly.”

Mueller wants victims to know that feeling any of these emotions is normal.

“We don’t plan for disaster,” she said. “We always think it’s going to be the other person … but even as a whole community and greater community, it’s going to take all of us to get through this.”

While it will take time and the whole community, Mueller says that no matter the damage, recovery can and will happen.

“Their direct life was not impacted, and so their routine still remains,” she said. “Everything is normal, but it’s going to be very important (that) we don’t forget these people, and whatever support we choose, this is a very long process. And as a community, we have an important role to maintain consistency and (be) very attentive to the needs they have.”

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