Axis Health System offers care options for people impacted by wildfire

Durango, CO: The 416 and Burro wildfires can bring up many challenging emotions. Axis Health System (AHS), a local healthcare nonprofit, is offering a variety of healthcare options for people who are in crisis or having difficulty coping with smoke inhalation or disaster-related stress. Community members have the following options:

  • Visit a Community Health Clinic. Our care teams can help with physical symptoms, such as problems with smoke inhalation; or stress-related symtoms such as anxiety or sleeping/eating disturbances.
  • Schedule a free AHS counseling visit. People who are experiencing distress caused by the 416 or Burro wildfires may schedule three free counseling visits. Call 970.259.2162. Let the front desk staff know that you are experiencing stress due to the wildfires.
  • Walk in for a same-day visit at Crossroads at Grandview. Anyone 18 years or older who is in crisis can walk-in for crisis care during business hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday) at this AHS location. Crossroads at Grandview is located at 1125 Three Springs Blvd., just southwest of Mercy Regional Medical Center. For more information call 970.403.0180.
  • For immediate support 24/7, call the Axis Health System Crisis Line at 970.247.5245. How do you know if you or someone you love is in crisis? There are wide-ranging symptoms that can be both emotional and physical. Depression, fearfulness and difficulties in dealing with day-to-day life are common signs that someone is in crisis. Here are other symptoms of stress in a disaster:
    • Difficulty communicating thoughts
    • Difficulty sleeping
    • Difficulty maintaining balance in their lives
    • Low threshold of frustration
    • Increased use of drugs/alcohol
    • Limited attention span
    • Poor work performance
    • Headaches/stomach problems
    • Tunnel vision/muffled hearing
    • Colds or flu-like symptoms
    • Disorientation or confusion
    • Difficulty concentrating
    • Reluctance to leave home
    • Depression, sadness
    • Feelings of hopelessness
    • Mood-swings and easy bouts of crying
    • Overwhelming guilt and self-doubt
    • Fear of crowds, strangers, or being alone

“Stress symptoms during a wildfire are normal reactions to an abnormal situation,” said Sarada Leavenworth, AHS senior director of strategy and development. “We encourage everyone to reach out when they need support – whether that’s connecting with loved ones, talking to a doctor or meeting with one of our counselors. This type of disaster reminds us once again that we’re in this together.”

Coping tools for disaster-related stress include:

  • Acknowledge the loss
  • Tell the story – talk about your feelings
  • Be in the moment fully
  • Give yourself permission to feel rotten
  • Limit use of alcohol/drugs
  • Take deep breaths
  • Structure your life as much as possible
  • Create a safe and healing environment
  • Acknowledge your process – allow others their own
  • Allow yourself time
  • Acknowledge your vulnerability and limitations
  • Seek professional counseling
  • Participate in support groups
  • Listen to your body
  • Rest and get plenty of sleep
  • Eat nutritious foods
  • Increase light physical activity
  • Postpone major decisions
  • Try journaling or expression through artwork
  • Connect with others
  • Receive body work/massage
  • Nurture yourselfAxis Health System provides quality healthcare across the lifespan in Montezuma, Dolores, La Plata, San Juan and Archuleta counties. AHS has nine locations in Southwest Colorado and offers primary, behavioral and oral healthcare, and crisis response and stabilization.