TWIN FALLS, Idaho – Unless you’ve experienced it yourself or know someone who has, you may not realize that Mother Nature’s mood swings can cause some people to feel overwhelmed.

“It’s normal for people of all ages to feel a lot of stress and anxiety after a natural disaster such as a flood,” says 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.”

Idaho’s behavioral health officials are reminding Idahoans that resources are available for those who might be feeling stressed out because of recent snow and flooding.

Photo by Andrew Weeks

One resource in the Magic Valley is the Crisis Center of South Central Idaho, 570 Shoup Ave. W., Twin Falls. Phone, 866-737-1128.

According to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, common symptoms after a traumatic event such as natural disasters 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 911.

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 and friends; unexplained physical symptoms or worsening of existing medical problems.

The Crisis Center is open 24/7 and provides admission for up to 23 hours and 59 minutes, if needed. It also provides crisis counseling and help connecting people to local resources. No one is turned away because they can’t pay.

Other resources include:

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.

IDHW's Division of Behavioral Health
Mental health services, including crisis-based services and local resources, are available in every region of the state.

Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline
208-398-4357 (HELP)
Help is available 24/7. Text support is available 3 p.m. to midnight, Monday-Friday.

Source: Idaho Department of Health and Welfare