RAPID CITY, S.D. -- The South Dakota Department of Human Services, Division of Mental Health, was the recent recipient of a $193,885 Crisis Counseling Grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The grant will provide counseling and other support services to individuals on the Pine Ridge Reservation affected by the early June severe storms and tornadoes.
Betty Oldenkamp, Division Director for Mental Health, said, "This disaster has taken a toll on everyone. People have suffered terrible losses, and many are still going through very emotional and traumatic times. We understand that, and we want people to know there is assistance to help them deal with the difficult emotions they might be feeling, as well as assistance to help them with their physical losses."
State and federal officials note there are three ways individuals affected by the disaster can take advantage of the program:
- Visit the Disaster Recovery Center at the Pine Ridge High School during normal work hours and speak with a Crisis Counseling representative
- Speak to a representative at the Oglala Recreation Center between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday
- Call the Recreation Center at 867-7038 for additional information.
The federal grant will reinforce existing disaster crisis counseling and outreach services being provided by the Division of Mental Health.