Aspire receives additional funding for January storm victims - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Aspire receives additional funding for January storm victims

Counselors have spoken to nearly 4,000 storm victims in Dougherty and Worth County (Source: WALB) Counselors have spoken to nearly 4,000 storm victims in Dougherty and Worth County (Source: WALB)
Babs Hall, Aspire Corporate Compliance Officer (Source: WALB) Babs Hall, Aspire Corporate Compliance Officer (Source: WALB)
John Hayes, Dougherty County Commissioner for District 2 (Source: WALB) John Hayes, Dougherty County Commissioner for District 2 (Source: WALB)
Aspire has received additional funding to help storm victims dealing with mental effects (Source: WALB) Aspire has received additional funding to help storm victims dealing with mental effects (Source: WALB)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Storm victims who suffered psychological effects during the January tornadoes are continuing to receive services through Aspire Behavioral Health. The organization recently received additional funding.

Aspire’s Georgia Recovery Project Crisis Counselors have met with around 4,000 storm victims in Dougherty and Worth Counties.

Aspire Corporate Compliance Officer Babs Hall said people are still uneasy about inclement weather. She said the biggest concern is anxiety, the fear of the unknown.

Many people see an increase in their anxiety when they see or hear about a future storm. A number of them fear they aren’t prepared for the next storm.

Recently, Aspire received additional funding through the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. This funding will help employ the staff and that’s helping these storm victims through March 2018.

"Just because you go back into your home after it's repaired doesn't mean that life is going to be the same," said Hall. "So, we're trying to help people learn to adjust and cope to the challenges and make life their new normal."

Dougherty Co. Commissioner John Hayes serves residents living in District 2 which was one of the hardest hit areas during the January tornadoes. He said people are still seeing effects from the severe weather. And he's heard from residents who want an opportunity to ask questions and learn about how to meet their ongoing needs.

Thanks to the help of Aspire, the commissioner has organized a town hall meeting to discuss their concerns.

The commissioner said it's time to focus on the unseen scars.

"When you're dealing with that kind of shock to your physical body, the kind of strain which comes from the weight of the situation, that's what we need to be aware of," said Hayes.

The town hall will take place on Thursday, August 31, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Government Center on Pine Avenue.

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