Oil Spill Update
Grants Distributed To Help Gulf States, PSAs in Progress
A total of $648,404 in SAMHSA grants to Gulf Coast states will provide behavioral health care and other social services to people affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster.
The grants, recently announced by the Agency, will also help the states conduct surveillance and provide data to direct behavioral health care services to people experiencing trauma.
To date, funding to each state includes: Louisiana—$162,500; Florida—$161,404; Alabama—$162,500; Mississippi—$162,000.
SAMHSA, with the rest of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), continues to provide a wide range of assistance (in part with funds from BP) to meet behavioral health needs. Efforts include:
Oil Spill Distress Helpline (1-800-985-5990). This toll-free helpline provides information, support, and counseling for families and children affected by the Deepwater Horizon disaster. (See SAMHSA News online, September/October 2010.)
Comprehensive Behavioral Health Education and Information Plan. SAMHSA has developed a regional public education campaign designed to raise awareness and connect those in need to services available. Efforts include:
- Assistance in the coordination of local and regional marketing activities to promote awareness of the hotline number
- Public education and outreach materials on behavioral health for dissemination among residents in affected areas
- Public messaging about recognizing signs and symptoms of distress and self-management techniques
- Consumer-friendly resource materials and information for downloading news and events related to recovery and resilience-building efforts
- Development and distribution of television, radio, and print public service announcements (PSAs).
Several SAMHSA “tip sheets” are also available to help.
For more information about the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and SAMHSA’s response, read the SAMHSA News cover story for July/August 2010.