EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSExperts Concerned About Mental Health Impacts Of Water Crisis
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported: Feb. 23, 2014 10:42 PM EST
Updated: Feb. 23, 2014 11:16 PM EST
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Dave Benton) -- Over a month later, and there are still concerns and questions over the safety of water in many areas here in West Virginia.
The impacts of the water crisis are still being felt for so many in the nine counties affected by the spill at Freedom Industries in January.
Some are worried about long term physical and mental health impacts of the crisis.
Eyewitness News spoke with experts about how people are coping with those changes.
“(It) made me sick at my stomach for 2 days, so that's really one reason I've not been drinking water right now,” Mark Hudson of Charleston said.
And that's why he comes to the Big Lots parking lot in Charleston a couple of times a week to stock up on bottled water. Hudson is like many people - still leery of the water.
But experts say that's understandable. The water crisis has caused a variety of reactions. Some people either don't care, or just refuse to use or even drink the water.
“People who don't like change are doing really poorly with this,” Dr. David Clayman, a psychologist, said. “Because it's upset the way they live their lives.”
Clayman said many people are having trust issues, like Joe Carter of Charleston, who also takes advantage of the water distribution sites.
“You lose trust in the company,” Carter said. “You don't know what's what.”
Clayman said people have to cope with it on their own comfort level. Don't be overly crazy, but don't be so cavalier that you're not being careful.
“If you think the world is coming to an end, you'll probably only listen to people who think the world is coming to an end,” he said. “If you don't care you won't look at anything. So, best idea is to be cautious, understand this will pass, we'll find a way around it and it's not the end of the world.”
As for Hudson, he says he'll patiently wait for more test results before he drinks from his tap.
Clayman also says, in order for us to cope, have hope. Keep listening to experts, but don't jump to conclusions.
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