Disaster Distress Helpline Offers Support For Those Affected By Hurricane

NEW YORK, N.Y. ­– Millions of people have been affected by the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. In addition to meeting immediate needs such as food and shelter, addressing mental health is also a priority in response efforts. Many people will need assistance coping with increased anxiety, sleeplessness and irritability in the coming days and weeks. The Disaster Distress Helpline (DDH) is ready and available to offer free crisis counseling and support 24/7/365 to help those struggling with emotional distress to move forward on the path to recovery.

People most likely to suffer from distress related to hurricanes include survivors living in impacted areas, especially children and teens, loved ones of victims and first responders, rescue and recovery workers. “After a major disaster such as Hurricane Sandy, most people affected will feel distressed, but will be able to bounce back quickly with support from loved ones,” said Christian Burgess, Director of DDH. “Others may be struggling with difficult emotions that could make it harder for them to recover.”

The Disaster Distress Helpline is the first national hotline dedicated to providing disaster crisis counseling via phone (1-800-985-5990) and SMS (text ‘TalkWithUs’ to 66746). Crisis counseling is available to individuals who are Deaf or hearing impaired through TTY (1-800-846-8517) and in more than 100 languages through interpretation services. Spanish-speakers can text ‘Hablanos’ to 66746.

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