There are 22 open cases at The Village Family Center right now, the majority being related to the Souris River flood.
Since Jan. 4, free mental health counseling for people affected by the last year's flood has been offered at The Village.
"I'm seeing people coming in with anxiety, not sure about the future," said Michelle Galster, an in-office outpatient counselor with The Village. There, the patients that she has seen have run the gamut of flood-related problems.
James C. Falcon/MDN - - The Village Family Service Center has been offering flood-related counseling since Jan. 4. “I’m seeing people coming in with anxiety, not sure about the future,” said Michelle Galster, an in-office outpatient counselor with The Village. This house located on Sixth Avenue West near Oak Park was among the many homes in the Souris River Basin hit when the river flooded in 2011.
"I've heard a lot of frustration with FEMA, trying to meet their demands," Galster said. "There's been depression, some post traumatic stress disorder. They might not have been flooded, but family (was)."
The clientele isn't just from Minot, Galster said. There are some from nearby smaller towns, who also speak of how the flood affected them.
The Village also offers other services, such as financial counseling, general counseling, adoption and family group decision making, and pregnancy counseling, so it sees a fair share of patients otherwise.
However, in the end, the flood ends up being related in many cases.
"It all kind of trickles down," Galster said. "The general chaos in town, people not feeling safe ... just all the after-effects of the flood in general have affected everybody I've seen."
"We're extremely happy that Michelle has been able to work this in as part of her internship," said Barb Fix, regional program director for The Village. "A lot of times, for a nonprofit, we don't receive a lot of additional funding to have someone specifically work with folks that fall between the cracks, where its straight out patient counseling."
The flood-related counseling ends on April 20, but, as Fix noted, The Village will still be on hand to offer programs to assist families.
"We're not the only organization that services those individuals," Fix said.
However, Galster said, something needs to be done to insure that a more permanent forum is available for flood victims.
"The community is in great need of support groups for victims and survivors of the flood," Galster said, noting that other than a group at a church, "there are no support groups of any kind in Minot, that I'm aware of."
To make an appointment, call The Village at 852-3328.