Advocates provide mental health resources after KY flooding
MARTIN, Kentucky — Advisors in eastern Kentucky are working to raise awareness of mental health resources in flood-affected communities.
Chris Griffith has seen first-hand the devastation that flooding has done to his community.
“These are my people. I am them, and we are all brothers and sisters in this community, in one way or another,” Griffith said.
Griffith, a program manager and consultant for the Christian Appalachian Project, said the last few weeks in eastern Kentucky have been rough.
“Some of them struggled in the first place, so taking all your worldly possessions in one fell swoop is really, really hard for all of them,” Griffith said.
Losing everything, and even feeling guilty for surviving such a traumatic event, is something Griffith and his staff are struggling with mental health screenings.
“We know that when someone goes through a traumatic experience like a flood, this devastation, the loss, even the loss of life. Looking around and seeing a neighbor’s house destroyed, with so much loss and so much grief, we know that when When this happens, it’s important to deal with those situations and report back,” Griffith said.
Griffith, who was born and raised in eastern Kentucky, said he understands the difficulties in the area, and now the flooding just adds an extra layer of challenges.
“Our people are very proud, they have tremendous resilience. On the one hand it’s a wonderful thing. On the other hand, sometimes people don’t want to ask for help,” Griffith said.
The Christian Appalachian Project provides consulting services within Martin’s distribution center. Griffith said the resource is not just for adults, but also for children.
“They’ve gone through this trauma and this emotional instability, seeing their home lost and all their resources gone. It’s devastating,” Griffith said.
As the cleanup continues and immediate needs are met, Griffith said it’s time to look at the mental health side and be a resource for each other. The Martin Distribution Center is open Monday through Friday, 9 am to 6 pm, and anyone seeking counseling services can do so in person.