Free Counseling Available For Oklahoma Tornado Victims

Friday, July 12th 2013, 7:03 pm
By: News 9

The recovery process continues in Moore as so many families rebuild following that Ef-5 tornado.

Many parents say the hardest part is the conversations they're having with their kids, but there is an effort going on now to help these families.

Next week mental health professionals will be on hand at a free event to meet with parents and answer questions about how their kids are coping. It's geared toward the parents of children in Moore, where more than 20,000 students go to school and are dealing with big changes in their community.

Kaiya and Mike Roper's lives were turned upside down back in May. 

"A lot of things are touching them that they hadn't had to deal with before, but they are taking it like troopers," Kaiya Roper said.

Only one wall of their house was left standing. When the tornado hit, Kaiya and the kids were at school, but Mike was home.

"We walked down Broadway, and Mikaela saw her dad. [She] started running and screaming, ‘Daddy, Daddy, Daddy,'" Roper says. "There was nothing that could say, ‘This is your house,' ‘This was you house.' It was all just a big pile of debris."

They lost nearly everything, and they're not alone. Calm Waters Center for Children and Families is hosting a panel of mental professionals to talk to parents.

"This is our best time, after the shock has worn off, that we can go in and let the children and the parents tell their stories," Calm Waters Director Barbara Butner said.

Parents like the Ropers will be able to sign up their kids for support groups.

"They're children, and I know they need something besides mom and dad to talk about this," Roper said.

The children's support groups will begin the week of July 29. Tuesday night's event is just for parents. It'll be held at 6:30 p.m. at Frontline Church in southwest Oklahoma City located at SW 44th Street and I-35.

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