Joplin Disaster Still Lingers

Published on: 20:40PM May 25, 2011
Many of you know that I grew up in Southwest Missouri and my family’s cattle ranch is near Joplin, Mo. The town was ravaged by an epic tornado I’m still getting updates hourly from friends and family. This disaster is far from over:
-They are still finding bodies
-They are finding children in the rubble but no surviving parents – one little boy was found today walking around with a shingle stuck in the back of his head
-There are doctors and lawyers - professional people - who lost their homes and are living in shelters, but ALSO they have no place to return to work to make an income and recover from this tragedy. The hospital and office buildings are gone
-My mother is a mental health professional at a hospital in a neighboring town from Joplin. One of the most frightening things about this tragedy that no one talks about is that the mental health facilities were blown away. You have a lot of very mentally ill people walking the streets.
Tomorrow, my mother and hundreds of other counselors are being called to the Joplin community college to offer “free crisis counseling” – they are literally going to open the doors of the college and let whomever needs help walk in and receive it.
Please keep Joplin, Mo., in your thoughts. The storm may be over, but the hard work of healing is just beginning.