A wildfire damaged mobile homes and property in Fallbrook, Calif., in 2007. (Photo by Andrea Booher/FEMA)

SAMHSA Grant Funds National Disaster Distress Helpline

The agency has awarded a $936,000 grant to Link2Health Solutions, Inc. of New York, which manages the program.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration recently announced it is providing $936,000 during the next year to sponsor the National Disaster Distress Helpline, a hotline where people who need counseling after experiencing a disaster or tragedy can get it 24/7. It is available at 800-985-5990 (TTY for deaf or hearing impaired individuals, 800-846-8517) or via http://disasterdistress.samhsa.gov/. Or someone seeking help can text TalkWithUs to 66746.

The Helpline immediately connects callers to trained professionals from the closest crisis counseling center in the nationwide network of centers. Helpline staff provides counseling, referrals, and other needed support services, and the Helpline provides multilingual services.

"SAMHSA is proud to sponsor this national Helpline to provide immediate and crucial support for people experiencing a natural or human caused disaster when they may need it most," said SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde. "This service will alleviate the need for states or communities to develop their own helplines in a disaster, leaving them free to attend to the other response efforts necessary in a disaster or traumatic event."

The funding will be provided through a cooperative agreement awarded to Link2Health Solutions, Inc. of New York, which manages the program.

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