Incidents of mass violence can have an enormous impact on people, including survivors, first responders, witnesses and even those who see related media reports. The Disaster Distress Helpline, at 1-800-985-5990, can provide immediate counseling to anyone who is seeking help in coping with the mental or emotional effects of Wednesday’s shooting in San Jose, California.
The Helpline is a 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week resource that responds to people who need crisis counseling after experiencing the violence in San Jose, or to anyone who is 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). 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 nearest 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://www.disasterdistress.samhsa.gov/