WESTFIELD, Mass. -- Free crisis counseling continues to be available for residents of Hampden and Worcester counties who may be stressed, anxious or depressed due to the June 1 tornadoes. Those who want to take advantage of this confidential service may call 1-855-915-8047, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The service is provided by the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health through their MassSupport Program. The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Emergency Management Agency want individuals affected by the June 1 storms to know that counseling services are available through July 31, 2012.
“The purpose of crisis counseling is to help relieve grieving, stress or emotional problems caused or aggravated by the tornado,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Mark H. Landry. “We encourage those who may need this assistance to take advantage of this program.”
Signs that indicate someone may be suffering from stress include:
- Having trouble concentrating or remembering
- Difficulty making decisions
- Replaying the tornado event over and over in one’s mind
- Feeling depressed or sad
- Experiencing anxiety or fear
- Having trouble sleeping
- Feeling overwhelmed
“We should not overlook the stress a disaster can cause,” said State Coordinating Officer Kurt Schwartz, Director of MEMA. “This program is vital to everyone affected, especially children and older residents facing loss of daily routines and the stability of the home environment.”
This service is funded by FEMA through a grant to the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health. Counselors will provide both individual and group counseling services to residents in Hampden and Worcester counties.
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.