Mental health professionals in our community want parents and teachers to help prepare children and even adults for the anxiety they will likely feel when tornado sirens resume audible testing on Tuesday.
Severe weather sirens have not been sounded since the November 17 tornadoes that destroyed many homes in central Illinois. It’s important to understand the potential for new storms and even the testing of the tornado warning sirens could bring about increased fear and reactions from children and adults alike.
The Long-Term Behavioral Health Recovery Group, a collaboration of clergy and mental health professionals brought together by the American Red Cross Disaster Services in response to the November tornadoes, reminds us that talking with children about weather patterns and sirens will not produce fear or anxiety for most kids, regardless of their age. In many cases, it will actually help reduce the anxiety they will feel when the sirens are tested.
Members of the group are available for media interviews to provide additional information.
Gail Koch, MA, LCPC
Coordinator, OSF Medical Group Community Behavioral Health Services
(309) 683-6506 or (309) 369-2609
Corey Campbell, LCSW
Project Director, Mobile Wellness & Recovery Program, Human Service Center
(309) 671-8072 or (309) 264-3087