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LI Crisis Center Addresses Sandy's Emotional Toll

Editor’s Note: This article was written and submitted by representatives of the Long Island Crisis Center, which is based in Bellmore.

These past few weeks has been a catastrophic episode in the lives of so many in our Long Island community.  

With so many agencies, organizations and volunteers working towards a speedy recovery and cleanup, it seems that lives will be back to normal soon.

“However, we know that disasters can take a great emotional toll on those impacted by them and can be longer-lasting than the disaster itself,” according to Linda Leonard, Executive Director of Long Island Crisis Center.  “As people resume their routine lifestyles and less media attention is given to the crisis, there are those who will be left thinking they are alone and isolated.”

At this stage, it is important to recognize the signs of emotional distress and the Crisis Center has put together a list of warning signs for people to consider:

  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Stomachaches or headaches
  • Anger, feeling edgy or lashing out at others
  • Overwhelming sadness
  • Worrying a lot of the time
  • Feeling like you have to keep busy
  • Lack of energy or always feeling tired
  • Drinking alcohol, smoking or using tobacco more than usual or using illegal drugs
  • Eating too much or too little
  • Not connecting with others
  • Feeling like you won’t ever be happy again

Just as important as knowing the warning signs of distress is the importance of knowing when to ask for help…and that help is available:

  • Call Long Island Crisis Center, 24 hours a day/7 days a week at 516-679-1111
  • Chat online with a counselor at www.licconline.org
  • Text “LICC” to 839863

“The Crisis Center was able to continue its 24/7 hotlines throughout the power outages.  Counselors spoke to many people who were in the midst of dealing with various stages of destruction and loss in their lives due to Hurricane Sandy,” adds Ms. Leonard.  “Now we need to make sure that help and support get to those who are trying to manage and survive the disaster emotionally.”

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