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SAMHSA News Release

Date: 4/16/2012 10:55 AM
Media Contact: SAMHSA Press Office
Telephone: 240-276-2130

The Disaster Distress Helpline 1-800-985-5990 provides immediate counseling and help to people affected by the Midwest tornados

A disaster or tragedy is unexpected and often brings out strong emotions. The Disaster Distress Helpline 1-800-985-5990 can provide immediate counseling to anyone who needs help in dealing with the
Midwest tornados


The Helpline is a 24 hours-a-day, seven days a week resource that responds to people who need crisis counseling after experiencing a natural or man-made disaster or tragedy.


Sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the Helpline immediately connects callers to trained and caring professionals from the closest crisis counseling center in the nationwide network of centers. The Helpline staff will provide confidential counseling, referrals and other needed support services. 


“When disaster strikes, people react with increased anxiety, worry and anger. With community and family support, most of us bounce back.  Some may need extra assistance to cope with unfolding events and uncertainties,” said SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde. “People seeking emotional help in the aftermath of a disaster can now call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 and begin the process of recovery.”


The Disaster Distress Helpline is the nation’s first permanent hotline dedicated to providing disaster crisis. The toll-free Helpline is confidential and multilingual and available for those who are experiencing psychological distress as a result of natural or man-made disasters, incidents of mass violence or any other tragedy affecting America's communities. The Helpline complements HHS, FEMA and other disaster response capacity, and is available immediately anywhere within the United States.


The helpline can also be accessed at

SAMHSA is a public health agency within the Department of Health and Human Services. Its mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities.

Last updated: 4/16/2012 10:56 AM

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