Expanded Crisis Counseling for Sandy Survivors
As many Jersey families continue to struggle with the stresses of relocating and rebuilding post-Sandy, a generous grant issued by the state is meant to increase the amount of therapeutic services available in the hardest-hit communities.
The state Department of Human Services' Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services has provided more than $50,000 in funding to the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey’s University Behavioral HealthCare to perform crisis counseling. The grant will also fund a helpline (1-855-HOPE4U1).
"The emotional impact of Superstorm Sandy on New Jerseyans has been staggering. Many have lost their homes, their sources of income and life treasures that cannot be replaced," said Christopher Kosseff, CEO of the University Behavioral HealthCare division. "Disaster survivors are in great need of support and – in some cases - clinical intervention to help them recover."
Initially, clinicians will provide outreach services in severely-impacted areas through door-to-door visits and contact with community disaster workers. Services in the community will include individual clinical assessment, family sessions, therapy and support groups, according to DHS.
“Evidence shows that reaching people as early as possible after a disaster will minimize any long-term emotional or mental health issues," said DHS Commissioner Jennifer Velez.