Managing the emotional consequences of Superstorm Sandy

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Helping Hands Helping Hands

The stress of dealing with the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy is challenging many members of our Brigantine community and will be with us for the foreseeable future. However, help is available.

The Mental Health Association (MHA) in Atlantic County, funded by a FEMA grant, has been active in the community going door-to-door, passing out the “NJ Hope and Healing” pamphlet, which details practical techniques for managing stress and anxiety. This pamphlet is free and available at the Brigantine Beach Community Center, City Hall, and on Saturdays at the Disaster Recovery Center in the old Reynolds store.

MHA also provides one-on-one services and referrals for individuals in need. Call 1-877-294-4357 or come in Thursday at the Community Center to meet an MHA representative (please call ahead as hours vary).

Managing high stress levels and dealing with others who are under pressure can be difficult. There are some useful techniques for managing stress and anxiety detailed in the “Hope and Healing” Pamphlet, including the following: Try to maintain your normal daily routine, exercise, eat well, rest, limit alcohol consumption, use spirituality, keep a sense of humor, talk to and share your feelings with others.

Communicating with people who share the same problems is a great way to relieve anxiety and even learn helpful new information. Civic organizations can start groups for their members or have interested members join a community-wide group. The MHA will be facilitating a community-wide group information sharing session. Anyone who wishes to attend can register by calling the city clerk's office at (609) 266-7600 ext. 200.

Rev. John Scotland has brought together a Long Term Recovery Team for Brigantine, which is working to coordinate available disaster recovery resources and match them with those in our community who are still in need. This effort by the Mental Health Association is one of the efforts of the Emotional Health sub-team. Anyone with a FEMA number who still has unmet needs is encouraged to call the city clerk's office, so their information can be passed onto the Long Term Recovery Team.

Submitted by the Brigantine Municipal Alliance for the Prevention of Drug and Alcohol Abuse

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