In October 2017 the wildfires that swept through Sonoma County California claimed 44 lives, damaged or destroyed more than 5,000 structures, and upended many more thousands of lives. Dozens of communities sustained major damage that created impacts that will take years to overcome. Rebuilding from such devastation is a long and arduous task.
If you are watching this, you have likely been impacted by this tragic event. You, or a loved one or friend, might have been directly affected by the fire. This might include loss of your home, loss of a loved one, or family pet, loss of a special place in the community to you, or even loss of a sense of personal safety.
In addition to these issues, there are very real feelings and emotions people experience when exposed to a traumatic event such as this. You might be feeling angry, irritable, disbelief, emotionally numb, or feeling guilty for something you think you could or should have done differently. You might also have lost belief in government, community organizations, or even your faith. These are all common responses people have to traumatic events.
Despite the damage caused by this disaster, Sonoma County is on the path to recovery. Debris removal is ongoing, construction and building repairs have begun, and new utilities are being installed in the most devastated areas that need it. Challenges do remain, though, and it is important for you, your friends, and your loved ones to feel safe and have a sense of community. This can mean different things for different people, but many resources are being made available across the county, including housing resources, financial support, streamlined rebuilding processes, emotional support and advocacy groups, and other resources like this web site.
MySonomaStrong.com is here to help as a resource with some of the thoughts and emotions you might be having in response to these tragic events. This site can help empower you to overcome some of these. It is 100% free to use, 100% confidential and created to help you start feeling better today. If this is your first visit, click the Continue button below to learn more about the ways this site can help. If you have visited before, click the Skip button to access the user logon page.
MySonomaStrong.com is a self-help service designed to help survivors who have experienced a recent disaster learn more about post-disaster stress and cope more effectively with the effects of the disaster. Trauma challenges our capacity to cope. It forces us to re-evaluate our beliefs and find new ways to move ahead in our lives.
This site is designed to help you with this process. It is not intended to replace professional counseling. If you use this service and find that you are not improving, please use the local resources page and seek help from a professional counselor.
Sonoma County residents who are looking for wildfire mental health support services, such as individual or group counseling, trauma-informed yoga, iRest meditation groups, or other support services, may call NAMI at 1-866-960-6264.