Mental Health nonprofit NAMI Missouri is hosting a series of community meetings for parents and families of children affected by the 2019 tornado and flooding in Central Missouri.

Mental Health nonprofit NAMI Missouri is hosting a series of community meetings for parents and families of children affected by the 2019 tornado and flooding in Central Missouri.

In the immediate aftermath of a natural disaster there is an abundance of attention and generosity from both within the community and outside it, but in the weeks and months that follow, that support can fade.

“We understand that physical health and safety needs are the first priority after any disaster, but mental health is also a critical component to well-being and to any long-term recovery plan,” said Gena Terlizzi, Executive Director of NAMI Missouri. “We want families who are still struggling to know they have not been forgotten.”

The meetings will cover various topics, including youth anxiety, trauma and mental wellness. They will also include resource and referral information, as well as giveaways for participants and free dinner and childcare.

The first meeting will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 4 at the Eldon Community Center in Eldon. A second meeting will be held the following night, on Thursday, Dec. 5, at the Linc in Jefferson City. Both meetings will begin with dinner at 5:30 pm and the presentation at 6:00 pm.

On Wednesday, May 22, 2019 an EF-3 tornado hit Jefferson City and nearby Eldon just before midnight. The tornado first touched ground in the Eldon and Brazito areas, before moving northeast to Jefferson City with wind speeds of up to 160 mph. The tornado followed a 19-mile path, destroying homes and businesses. The tornado struck after weeks of rising flood waters in the Missouri River.

These community youth mental health meetings are being hosted by NAMI Missouri in partnership with Missouri Special Needs Trust and Compass Health Network. The featured presenter is Laird Thompson with Compass Health Network.

For additional information and to register, visit https://namimissouri.org/CommunityMeeting or call NAMI Missouri at 573-634-7727.