Red Cross Extends Emotional Support Program Deadline

Survivors of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma who are still suffering emotionally from the effects of the storms will have extra time to get needed professional treatment as the American Red Cross Hurricane Recovery Program recently announced it will extend the enrollment deadline for their Emotional Support Program until May 31, 2008.

The Red Cross program allows those in need to receive outpatient mental health and substance abuse treatment from licensed professionals across the United States. It is a continuation of services provided by the American Red Cross, complementing it's, and other agencies', ongoing case management and community recovery efforts, which have been concentrated in the Gulf Coast.

Designed in consultation with mental health experts and other agencies active in disaster recovery, the program meets needs which continue more than thirty months after the storms. The program has had more than 21,000 survivors signing up for the program.

"The fact that survivors continue to sign up is an indication that the assistance is still greatly needed," said Jacqueline Yannacci, program manager, Behavioral Health Programs. "This program has been vitally important not only to the survivors but to the mental health communities in Louisiana and Mississippi."

Survivors can enroll in the Emotional Support Program themselves either through the web at www.a2care.org or by calling toll-free 1-866-794-HOPE. Hurricane survivors experiencing disaster-related emotional distress are eligible to enroll in the program, The benefit program allows individuals to choose their own licensed provider. Once enrolled, survivors have until Nov. 14, 2008 to receive services.

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