Harvey's destruction takes psychological toll on residents
PORT ARANSAS -
If you take a drive through Port Aransas, the reminders of Hurricane Harvey are at every turn. For a community of survivors that are trying their best to move on, the psychological effects of the storm are taking a toll.
"There are reminders everywhere and then the anxiety can start playing," said Dr. Andrew Reichert "What am I going to do now? Where do I begin?"
Dr. Reichert coping like the rest of the community. Taking it one day at a time. As a psychologist in the community, he knows all too well that the emotional needs of the community are often times an afterthought.
"As this chronic stress continues with these uncertainties, with all the damage and the rubble you see day in and day out, that can begin to take a physical toll," said Reichert. "People get so focused on the immediate needs and the physical needs that need do happen, but the mental health can begin to take a toll."
Reichert wanted to do his part to change that. He's now offering group and individual therapy sessions free of charge to the community.
"People are dealing with grief, depression and anxiety. They're worried about future unknowns and uncertainties. Some even have fears of more storms coming."
His message to those dealing with these feelings is quite simple. Don't be afraid to ask for help.
Free drop in counseling sessions will be held on Thursdays at 5:30 PM and Fridays at 6:30 PM at the Trinity by the Sea Episcopal Church in Port Aransas, TX.