Idaho’s behavioral health officials would like to remind Idahoans that resources are available for those who are feeling overwhelmed by the effects of heavy snowfall and flooding.
Almost half of the counties in Idaho have been issued a state disaster declaration. Flooding is expected to continue and may even worsen in the weeks to come as temperatures increase and cause additional snow melt.
“It’s normal for people of all ages to feel a lot of stress and anxiety after a natural disaster such as a flood,” said Ross Edmunds, administrator of the Division of Behavioral Health in the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. “Natural disasters can have profound effects on people‘s employment, mobility, well-being, relationships, and mental health, especially as they move beyond the flooding and are working on recovering their regular lives, property, and their relationships.”
Common symptoms after a traumatic event include anxiety, sadness, anger, and trouble sleeping. Physical symptoms can include headaches, stomach aches, and overeating or loss of appetite.
People should seek help from crisis services when they notice warning signs of a crisis for themselves or for someone they know and are not in immediate danger. If a situation is life-threatening or if a person is out of control and causing serious property damage, call 9-1-1.
Warning signs of a crisis include, but are not limited to:
- feelings of hopelessness
- increased agitation such as verbal threats and violent behavior
- abusive behavior such as hurting others, cutting, burning, or other self-harming behavior, and the abuse of alcohol or drugs
- disorientation or confusion and difficulty communicating
- isolation from school, work, family, friends
- unexplained physical symptoms or worsening of existing medical problems
Resources for behavioral health or crisis support:
Lemhi, Custer, Butte, Clark, Fremont, Jefferson, Madison, Teton, Bonneville and Bingham counties (Region 7): Behavioral Health Crisis Center of East Idaho
1650 N Holmes Ave., Idaho Falls
The crisis centers are open 24-hours-a-day, and provide admission to the center for up to 23 hours and 59 minutes if needed. They also provide crisis counseling and help connecting people to local resources. No one is turned away because they can’t pay.
Idaho Department of Health and Welfare’s Division of Behavioral Health
Mental health services, including crisis-based services and local resources, are available in every region of the state. More information here.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Disaster Distress Helpline
Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746. Multilingual counselors provide crisis counseling and support for people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters.
Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline
Help is available 24/7. Text support is available Monday-Friday from 3pm-midnight https://www.idahosuicideprevention.org/
More tips from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
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