SOMERSET—Survivors of the 12 flood-stricken New Jersey counties who are having difficulty managing the stress of the disaster can easily get help by making a free phone call.
Crisis counselors from the Division of Mental Health Services of the New Jersey Department of Human Services are available to help. They are available at many of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC).
Stress can surface in many forms and often appears weeks or months after a traumatic event, notes Gladys Padro, Director of Disaster Mental Health Services. “It may include anger, fatigue, loss of appetite, sleeplessness, nightmares, depression, inability to concentrate, hyperactivity and/or increased alcohol or drug use.”
Survivors experiencing mental health issues can call the New Jersey toll-free helpline: 1-877-294-4357 (HELP) or TTY (4356) for people with hearing disabilities. Additional information on how to access mental health services is available on line at http://www.state.nj.us/humanservices/index.shtml
For information on FEMA’s Disaster Recovery Centers call: 1-800-621-362.
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