Red River Resilience Helps Reduce Flood Anxiety - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Red River Resilience Helps Reduce Flood Anxiety

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Flood preparations are weighing heavily on many of our minds as city leaders push for volunteers; and experts say the stress can be harmful.

Valley News Team's Hope Hanselman met with the Red River Resilience group to find out how they're helping to ease some of that anxiety.

You've heard them, you've seen them, you may have even filled them- the signs neighborhoods are gearing up for another fight. But, there's another one going on right inside this room at Fargo's Red Cross center.

"Part of your preparedness should be: how am I going to prepare emotionally so I'm ready to deal with whatever stress the flood might bring," Kit O'Neil, a clinical psychologist, said.

Psychologists say the best defense sometimes comes from within.

"What kind of actions do you need to take in the next five minutes, the next hour, to help you cope with this and not get overwhelmed by a row of dump trucks or the fact that you need to sandbag again?" Jackie Crawford, a licensed psychologist, asked at a meeting with partners of Red River Resilience.

These psychologists helped to form Red River Resilience, sharing ways to cope when disaster strikes, "and helping them to be motivated in a way that's not panic mode," Dr. Andy McLean, a psychiatrist, said.

And given recent news, their message is even more important.

"You see in Newtown how people are coming together in resilience, and we're seeing in Boston how people are being resilient, and we're seeing in Texas how people are resilient," O'Neil added.

They say it's a community battle, so doctors, mental health experts and social workers are joining their cause. It's all building the network that will disseminate their information.

Because, it takes more than sandbags and dikes to win this fight.

"In general, most people get through, and it's just reminders of how to get through difficult times," McLean said.

Here are some quick tips to prepare yourself: keep up your normal routine and maintain relationships between friends and family.

The next Red River Resilience meeting is Tuesday morning at 9 am at the Red Cross in Fargo.

To find out how to get involved, click here.

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