HARRISBURG, Pa. -- When a disaster strikes, it’s good to know the Commonwealth is authorized to offer crisis counseling in presidentially declared major disaster areas. Help is available for individuals, groups, and communities in Pennsylvania through Project Keystone, a federally funded program to help disaster survivors who have emotional concerns.
Project Keystone, delivers crisis counseling through community-based outreach and supporting short-term interventions that help disaster survivors understand and handle the feelings they are experiencing. The counseling directs them in a review of their recovery options, discusses their reactions, and promotes the use or development of coping strategies. The counseling also provides emotional support and encourages linking with other individuals and agencies that may help survivors in their recovery. The goal is to return affected individuals to their pre-disaster level of functioning.
The program’s key principles are promotion of resilience, empowerment, and recovery. Crisis counselors do not classify, label, or diagnose individuals. No records or case files are kept. Crisis counseling is:
- Outreach Oriented—Crisis counselors deliver services in the communities rather than wait for survivors to seek their assistance.
- Conducted in Nontraditional Settings— Crisis counselors make contact in homes and communities, not in clinical or office settings.
- Designed to Strengthen Existing Community Support Systems - The crisis counseling program supplements, but does not take over or replace, existing community systems.
For general information about Project Keystone Contact:
Amy J. Boya, RN, Esq.
Project Keystone Program Manager
Project Keystone is available in the following counties: Bradford, Columbia, Lebanon, Luzerne, Lycoming, Montour, Northumberland, Schuylkill, Snyder, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Union, and Wyoming. For all other counties, contact your county mental health program for assistance.
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.