Natural disasters such as tornadoes and other violent storms can be overwhelming and can seriously affect emotional health. Before, during and after such storms, the Disaster Distress Helpline 1-800-985-5990 can provide immediate counseling to anyone who is seeking help in coping with the mental or emotional effects caused by storm-related incidents.
The Helpline is a 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week and free resource that responds to people who need crisis counseling and support in dealing with the traumatic effects of a natural or human-caused disaster. The Helpline is sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), an operating division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Helpline specialists are trained to assist callers who have a range of symptoms.
“People who have been through a traumatic event can experience anxiety, worry or insomnia,” said Tom Coderre, the acting Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use and the interim head of SAMHSA. “People seeking emotional help in the wake of disaster or tragedy can call or text 1-800-985-5990 and begin the healing process.”
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. Spanish-speakers can press “2” for bilingual support. Callers can also connect with counselors in more than 100 other languages via third-party interpretation services by indicating their preferred language to the responding counselor. More on the Helpline can be found at https://disasterdistress.samhsa.gov/.