SAMHSA logo Advisory

SAMHSA Press Releases

Date: February 15, 2006
Media Contact: SAMHSA Press
Telephone: 240-276-2130



Mississippi, Arkansas, Indiana, Maryland, New Jersey, Utah Receive Over $22 Million for Hurricane Katrina Crisis Counseling Assistance


Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Administrator Charles Curie today announced the award of $22.3 million to the states of Mississippi, Arkansas, Indiana, Maryland, New Jersey and Utah for crisis counseling assistance in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma. These grants are awarded through a longstanding and highly successful partnership between SAMHSA and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

These are the first grants that were ready of approximately 20 grants to be awarded in the next few weeks to enable states to address ongoing counseling needs of persons adversely affected by the hurricanes, regardless of whether they are residing in their home states or are resettling in other areas. States will receive a portion of the funds initially, with the remaining approved funds released as service needs continue.

The crisis counseling program will hire and train people locally to provide outreach to survivors of the hurricanes who need mental health services. This outreach will include mobile services in which trained workers go to the places where disaster survivors are congregating, such as shelters, disaster recovery centers, or temporary hotels, and provide supportive contacts, educational materials and brief counseling services.

“The impact of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma is unprecedented,” Curie said.  “Most survivors are demonstrating remarkable resiliency and are rebuilding theirs lives.  However, for some survivors the psychological impact of their experiences is potentially both serious and long lasting.   These new grants are part of a broader federal effort to assure that emotional and psychological well-being are addressed in the overall recovery process.”

I am genuinely heartbroken over the trauma that the victims of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma have suffered,” said R. David Paulison, Acting FEMA Director.  “The federal partnership between the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and SAMHSA demonstrates the administration’s continued commitment to providing resources to assist these hurricane victims in every way possible.”

The awards announced today are part of an ongoing crisis counseling effort. Twenty-nine states received Immediate Services Program grants totaling $ 25.8 million within weeks of the hurricanes. These new Regular Service Program grants will support services for up to nine months of additional assistance. Services supported through both the Immediate and the Regional Service programs include outreach, brief counseling, support groups, and public education.

Mississippi’s Project Recovery provides crisis counseling services to the population of the 47 counties directly impacted by hurricane Katrina. The state anticipates that it will provide direct services to over 300,000 persons including those unemployed due to the hurricanes. Services include individual and group counseling as well as assessment and referral services. Mississippi has been approved for a total of $19,975,167.

Project AR-K in Arkansas provides crisis counseling services to hurricane evacuees through outreach efforts, including activities coordinated with local organizations such as health organizations, churches, public housing agencies, United Way, state agencies, libraries, police and fire departments, disaster relief organizations, and schools. Arkansas has been approved for a total of $532,368.

Indiana’s Project Aftermath emphasizes field outreach to at-risk populations such as children, the elderly, people with disabilities, and those with pre-existing mental health or substance abuse disorders, and will help link evacuees with necessary resources and counseling services. Indiana has been approved for a total of $690,000.

Project KARE (Katrina Assistance Recovery Effort) in Maryland establishes outreach programs to provide crisis counseling services to evacuees throughout many counties in the state and serves families, individuals, and at-risk populations through community partnerships and events. Maryland has been approved for $659,822.

New Jersey’s Project Rebound targets evacuees who are ethnic minorities, children, local families who provide housing for evacuees, and first responders who were deployed to the affected areas and have since returned. New Jersey has been approved for a total of $244,842.

Utah’s crisis counseling program, “Utah Reaching Out” provides services to hurricane evacuees experiencing loss of homes, loved ones, cultural and social networks, family, employment, and faith-based communities. The program works closely with other state, local and community agencies to help with the significant adjustment to living so far away from home. Utah has been approved for a total of $244,508.




SAMHSA, is a public health agency within the Department of Health and Human Services. The agency is responsible for improving the accountability, capacity and effectiveness of the nation’s substance abuse prevention, addictions, treatment, and mental health services delivery system.



SAMHSA is An Agency of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Service