DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Officials with Montgomery County’s ADAMHS board are working to better connect people with mental health resources following the Memorial Day tornadoes and the Oregon District mass shooting.
According to officials, Montgomery County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services has seen a noticeable increase in demand for counseling services over the past two weeks, mostly in connection to the mass shooting and the tornadoes.
“I wake up to go to work every day, and you just see it,” said Errin Moore, a tornado survivor. “It’s there. It’s like a constant reminder every day.”
Moore lives at the Rivers Edge Apartments in Harrison Township, where many units were destroyed nearly four months ago. Reconstruction at the complex is coming along, but slowly, he said.
Moore and his former neighbor Neah Rainey each lived in apartments that were untouched by the tornado. But Rainey said Wednesday she struggles with survivor’s guilt and has considered seeing a therapist.
“I am still seeing people every single day who are still traumatized by it,” she said.
It’s not uncommon for people to struggle weeks or months after a traumatic event, according to Helen Jones-Kelley, executive director of Montgomery County ADAMHS.
“We’ve had to increase, of course, the providers who are providing services for folks,” she said.
ADAMHS has now launched a new website – DaytonHeals.org – to provide a central resource for people to get connected with the services they need, Jones-Kelley said.
Crews have put up 24 billboards across the county and are running radio ads to get the word out, according to officials.
“Not only can we connect people to resources that they may be eligible for, but we also provide a lot of our services free of charge for the citizens of this community,” Jones-Kelley said.
“I’m an advocate for mental health,” Moore said. “If you need help, it’s out there. Go get it.”
The billboards and radio ads will be around for about two weeks, according to an ADAMHS spokesperson.