SAMHSA's Disaster Stress Hotline Ready to Assist

The toll-free, multilingual, and confidential crisis support service is available to all residents in the United States and its territories, and they can also reach it by text -- text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's Disaster Distress Helpline, available at 800-985-5990, is ready to provide immediate counseling to anyone who is seeking help in dealing with Hurricane Irma in Florida, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. It is a 24/7/365 national hotline dedicated to providing immediate crisis counseling for people experiencing emotional distress related to a natural or human-caused disaster.

The toll-free, multilingual, and confidential crisis support service is available to all residents in the United States and its territories, and they can also reach it by text -- text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.

It is sponsored by SAMHSA and connects callers to trained professionals from the closest crisis counseling center in a nationwide network of centers. Since being launched in February 2012, the hotline has provided counseling and support in response to disasters such as "Superstorm" Sandy, the Boston Marathon bombing, and the Ebola outbreak.

"When disaster strikes, people react with increased anxiety, worry, and anger. With community and family support, most of us bounce back. Some may need extra assistance to cope with unfolding events and uncertainties," said Dr. Elinore McCance-Katz, assistant secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use. "People seeking emotional help in the aftermath of a disaster can now call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 and begin the process of recovery."

The helpline also can be accessed here.

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