WASHINGTON - FEMA awarded grants to fund crisis counseling services for residents struggling with stress and anxiety as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Crisis Counseling Assistance and Training program is funded by FEMA and overseen by FEMA in coordination with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The program assists individuals and communities in recovering from the psychological effects of natural and human caused disasters through community-based outreach and educational services.
To date, the following states received crisis counseling service grants:
- $464,000 to Massachusetts
- $371,000 to Michigan
- $882,000 to New Jersey
- $1.3 million to New York
- $2.1 million to Washington
The program helps people understand their current situation and reactions and supports short-term interventions focused on mitigating stress, promoting the use or development of coping strategies, providing emotional support and encouraging links with other individuals and agencies who may help survivors in their recovery process.
People who seek help through the program remain anonymous. Crisis counselors do not keep individual records or case files and avoid classifying, labeling or diagnosing individuals in any way.
Due to the COVID-19 nationwide emergency and the need to protect the safety and health of all Americans, the crisis counseling will be delivered by phone, internet and the media (including social media).