Hurricane Maria has mental impact on evacuees - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Hurricane Maria has mental impact on evacuees

More than 200,000 people have evacuated from Puerto Rico to Florida. Thousands are seeking refuge in Palm Beach County.

For many evacuees their physical needs have been met, but doctors say now it's time to focus on their mental health.

Yahaira Gonzalez fled from Puerto Rico a little more than two months ago. She is almost 8 months pregnant and left most of her family behind.

"I have to start a new life," she told WPTV. "I left my family behind, even my dog is there."

She said Hurricane Maria has left Puerto Rico unrecognizable.

"It's sad to see all of that," Gonzales said. "To see people, elderly people my own parents and my own family in that situation."

Her physical needs have been met for now. She has food, water, a place to stay and a car. But like many others she still worries about the future.

"I don't have a stable place to stay,"she said. "I don't have my things. I don't have a home. I don't have a crib for my baby. I have no stability here."

Dr. Helen Dickey says many people are getting their physical needs met so they are coming out of survival mode and that is when reality sets in.

"People have had to leave so much behind and there will be grief reaction to this."

The crisis intervention hotline is open 24/7. The contact is 2-1-1 or 1-866-882-2991.

Scripps Only Content 2017

Powered by Frankly

1100 Banyan Blvd.
West Palm Beach, FL 33401

FCC Public File
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 Raycom Media. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.