December 21st, 2006 09:49 EST
Crisis Counseling Services Available to Hurricane Victims Coping with Holiday Stress
NEW ORLEANS, La. -- Coping with any type of loss, whether it involves personal possessions, a job or a family member, can be very stressful. In the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, hurricane victims, including children, are dealing with issues never before faced.
During the holidays, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) along with the State of Louisiana will continue to offer free crisis counseling services.
Crisis Counseling is funded by FEMA through grants to the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH). DHH uses its network of mental health care providers to make the appropriate referrals.
The goal of crisis counseling is to help individuals cope with the psychological aftermath of the disaster. The crisis counseling program provides short-term crisis counseling services. When a person calls the crisis counseling hotline, a representative provides the needed assistance.
Individuals are eligible for crisis counseling services if they were physically in areas directly affected by Hurricanes Katrina or Rita. The numbers for the crisis counseling hotlines are as follows:
Crisis Counseling and Suicide Prevention Hotline, 1-800-273-8255 (statewide)
Baton Rouge Area Crisis Line, 225-924-3900 (Baton Rouge)
The Crisis Counseling Hotline is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
FEMA manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates mitigation activities, works with state and local emergency managers, and manages the National Flood Insurance Program. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.