Crisis counseling helplines for people affected by Hurricane Sandy

Submitted by the Mental Health Association in Tompkins County (http://mhaedu.org/):

Residents of any state that have been emotionally affected by Hurricane Sandy can access free 24/7 crisis counseling and support through the national Disaster Distress Helpline at 800-985-5990 or text ‘TalkWithUs’ to 66746 (Spanish-speakers can text ‘Hablanos’ to 66746). Assistance is also available to individuals who are Deaf or hearing impaired through TTY (1-800-846-8517) and in more than 100 languages through interpretation services.  The Disaster Distress Helpline is a national hotline answered by a network of crisis centers across the U.S. MHA-NYC’s crisis contact center, which also responds to local LifeNet callers, provides help for eastern regional callers to the Disaster Distress Helpline. The Disaster Distress Helpline is supported by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and operated by MHA-NYC’s subsidiary Link2Health Solutions, Inc. “Feelings of anxiety and helplessness are common immediate reactions to uncommon catastrophic events such as Sandy, and most people will bounce back with good social supports and a return to routines,” said Giselle Stolper, President and CEO of MHA-NYC. “But others will continue to need additional support to help them get through this extraordinary period of recovery.”

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New York City residents experiencing emotional distress as a result of Hurricane Sandy can access free, confidential crisis counseling 24/7 through LifeNet (800-543-3638 and TTY at212-982-5284), Spanish LifeNet (800-AYUDESE) and Asian LifeNet (800-990-8585). LifeNet, the city’s only accredited, multi-lingual, free and confidential crisis hotline, is run by the Mental Health Association of New York City (MHA-NYC) and supported by the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

For more than a decade, LifeNet has assisted people emotionally affected by disasters. LifeNet’s trained staff can provide brief crisis counseling and access to a wide variety of local resources to help individuals cope following catastrophic events.

Learn more about the mental health impact of Hurricane Sandy and how to cope at www.mha-nyc.org. MHA-NYC also has experts on staff available to speak about post-disaster mental health challenges, coping approaches and support resources, as needed.

The Mental Health Association of New York City (MHA-NYC) is a not for profit organization that addresses mental health needs in New York City and across the nation. It is a local organization with national impact and has a three-part mission of services, advocacy and education. After the events of 9-11, LifeNet became a central service in the largest federally-funded disaster mental health response in the nation’s history, “Project Liberty.” LifeNet was also called upon by the American Red Cross to assist in their Mental Health Recovery Program post-9/11 and again in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast. For over 40 years, MHA-NYC has offered innovative and culturally sensitive services that promote the importance of mental wellness. www.mha-nyc.org

Relief at Cornell University