Promoting the Wellbeing of Families Post Tornadoes in Western Kentucky

Resilient Recovery Project

Addressing mental health needs in collaboration with American Red Cross and University of Louisville

On December 10-11, 2021, tornados ripped through communities in Western Kentucky claiming dozens of lives, destroying hundreds of homes and leaving families and communities forever impacted. Although it has been a year, communities especially in the Mayfield and Dawson Springs area are continuing the process of rebuilding and recovery. 

RESILIENCY RESOURCES: For those affected by the Western Kentucky tornados.   DOWNLOAD HERE [PDF]

 December tornado

 Map above taken from:


Why is emotional health care important after a tornado?

A recent survey of school personnel in W. KY indicated:

  • over 50% said they and/or friends or family were affected by the tornado,
  • 20% report continuing emotional impact and
  • 35% have ongoing storm anxiety

The trauma of experiencing a tornado can have long-term effects on a person’s mental health. People who have experienced a tornado may experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) such as flashbacks, nightmares, difficulty sleeping, anxiety, and depression.


Mental health care can help: 

  • cope with the trauma and aftermath of a tornado
  • provide them with the tools to manage their symptoms
  • can also help people process their emotions and
  • provide them with a safe space to talk about their experiences.


 grant goals and projects



Outreach and Services

  • Engaging and connecting to immediate and/or long-term mental health services to vulnerable populations in Western Kentucky affected by the December tornados

Capacity Building

  • Building the capacity of local mental health delivery systems in these communities with clinical training and suicide prevention


  • Training of professionals to increase skills in delivering supportive services to those suffering mental health distress. Supports for 1st responders and caregivers.

Network Building

  • Building network of provider agencies to allow for development of additional capacity in these communities and help with referral systems.


Kent School of Social Work and Family Science Project Team

Contact Us:

, Principal Investigator

, MSSW, Project Coordinator

, Project Assistant



Four Rivers Behavioral Health, Paducah, KY

KY STEPs LLC, Bowling Green, KY

Pennyroyal Center


Kentucky Strong

Gleanky logo

Above pic retrieved from:


Four Rivers Behavioral Health logo Pennyroyal Center logo KYSteps Kent logo