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Tornado-Scarred States Receive American Red Cross Health Services
Date:2/7/2008

Red Cross Volunteers are Finding Health and Mental Health Top the List of Needs

WASHINGTON, Feb. 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Following one of the largest series of tornadoes in decades, many people across the south are beginning the long process toward recovery. The Red Cross continues to help provide meals, shelter and clean up supplies to those affected. But for many people, the most welcome help comes from Red Cross health and mental health workers -- these compassionate volunteers lend physical and emotional support as residents struggle to cope with the devastation surrounding them.

Health services workers focus on providing emergency first aid and evaluating the health care needs of individuals and communities following a disaster. Red Cross mental health workers tend to the emotional needs of disaster victims. In fact, for many people, their first contact with the Red Cross following a disaster is with one of these workers, though they carry no special identification. Mental health and health services volunteers reach out to disaster victims through home or hospital visits and can also be found working in Red Cross shelters, service centers and emergency aid stations.

"We literally walk house to house after a disaster, looking for people who may need first aid or some other health related services," explained Eileen Losi, R.N., a volunteer with Red Cross Disaster Health Services. "Right now we are gathering our licensed healthcare workers, such as nurses, licensed practical nurses, physicians and paramedics, to work in our shelters, and to conduct these visits throughout the impacted communities."

The Red Cross encourages disaster victims to reach out to the Red Cross for help. "Anyone who experiences a disaster can be affected in some way, whether directly or indirectly through location, loved ones or exposure to media coverage," said Rob Yin, Manager, Disaster Health and Mental Health Services. "Attending to the m
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SOURCE American Red Cross
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