|AltaPointe Responds to the Oil Spill Crisis
In 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico caused
catastrophic and highly visible losses to our environment and economy in
south Alabama and along the northern Gulf Coast. Yet, the emotional and
invisible damages caused by the stresses resulting from the oil spill
are still surfacing. The Alabama Department of Mental Health initiated Project Rebound to provide relief
and assistance in the aftermath of a disaster in partnership with
community organizations. Project Rebound began after Hurricane Ivan, returned after
Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and also returned
after a tornado devastated the Enterprise community.
Once again it has been reactivated to provide help to survivors of the
Gulf Coast oil spil and the
April 2011 tornado outbreak . In
Mobile County, AltaPointe is partnering with Project Rebound to provide
mental health and other services to assist south Alabama residents.
If you or your family feel overwhelmed, are feeling too "stressed out,"
having thoughts of hurting yourself or others, find that you are using
drugs or alcohol in order to cope, or if you just need someone to talk
to, call (251) 824-2310 to reach a professional by phone. AltaPointe
professionals may also be reached via email at email@example.com
. In addition, Project Rebound is a great resource to help south
Alabama residents locate services for almost anything they are facing
due to the oil spill disaster. Call 1 (800) 639-7326 to speak to a
Project Rebound counselor.
- No one who sees a disaster is untouched by it.
- It is normal to feel anxious about you and your family’s safety.
- Profound sadness, grief, and anger are normal reactions to an abnormal event.
- Acknowledging your feelings helps you recover.
- Focusing on your strengths and abilities will help you to heal.
- Accepting help from community programs and resources is healthy.
- We each have different needs and different ways of coping.
- It is common to want to strike back at people who have caused great pain. However, we accomplish nothing good with hateful language or actions.
- Difficulty communicating thoughts
- Difficulty sleeping
- Difficulty maintaining balance
- Difficulty concentrating
- Easily frustrated
- Increased use of drugs/alcohol
- Limited attention span
- Poor work performance
- Headaches/stomach problems
- Tunnel vision/muffled hearing
- Cold or flu-like symptoms
- Disorientation or confusion
- Reluctance to leave home
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Crying easily
- Overwhelming guilt and self-doubt
- Fear of crowds, strangers, or being alone
Children respond to stress based on both their developmental level and their perception of family reactions. Often, the most significant indicator of stress is a change in a child’s behavior, not the behavior itself.
- Ages 1-5:
- may begin acting like they did when they were much younger. Preschoolers may resume thumb sucking or bedwetting
- may begin clinging to a parent
- may become very attached to a place where they feel safe
- may show changes in eating or sleeping habits,
- may exhibit hyperactive, unusually aggressive or withdrawn behavior
- Ages 5-11:
- may begin acting like they did when they were much younger
- may withdraw from friends,
- may demand more attention from parents
- may begin acting aggressively
- may have difficulty concentrating
- may begin complaining of physical problems (headache or stomach ache) without obvious cause
- Adolescents may:
- have vague physical complaints
- abandon schoolwork, chores, and other responsibilities
- become withdrawn
- resist authority
- become disruptive
- experiment with alcohol or drugs
In later adolescence, teens may experience feelings of helplessness or guilt because they are unable to help the family.
- Talk with someone about your feelings of anger, sorrow, and other emotions, even though it may be difficult.
- Take care of yourself by eating right, getting plenty of rest, exercising, and taking time to relax.
- As much as possible, keep your daily schedule or routine at home. Spend time with family and friends.
- Use existing supports groups of family, friends, and church.