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National Disaster Distress Helpline 1-800-985-5990 Provides Immediate Crisis Counseling to Those Affected by Excessive Heat

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Dangerously high temperatures across multiple, widespread areas of the U.S. have resulted in extreme heat advisories, watches and warnings for millions of Americans. The Disaster Distress Helpline, at 1-800-985-5990, provides 24/7 crisis counseling and emotional support for anyone in the U.S./territories experiencing distress or other mental health concerns related to disaster, including heat events. DDH Counselors are equipped to assess the immediate level of behavioral health distress that callers/texters may face in relation to heat, encourage them to follow up with a healthcare provider, direct them to contact CDC's hotline for information on heat and physical health, and access local emergency services if an imminent health threat related to heat may be present.

The Disaster Distress Helpline is sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Counselors are available 24/7 to respond to people who need crisis counseling after experiencing a traumatic event or a disaster. Counselors are trained to offer support to people who may be experiencing a range of symptoms. More information about the Disaster Distress Helpline as a resource during extreme heat is also available on Heat.gov.

The Helpline, available at 1-800-985-5990 or www.samhsa.gov/ddh, immediately connects callers to trained and caring professionals from the nearest crisis counseling center in the nationwide network of centers. The Helpline staff 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. A videophone option with direct crisis counseling and support for deaf or hard-of-hearing American Sign Language users is also available. Disaster survivors and responders connect with trained DDH crisis workers fluent in ASL by dialing 1-800-985-5990 from a videophone-enabled device or via an “ASL Now” link accessible at www.samhsa.gov/ddh.

Additional resources to retain your health before, during and after extreme heat can be found at FEMA Ready.gov: https://www.ready.gov/heat and https://www.ready.gov/heat#illness.

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Reporters with questions should send inquiries to media@samhsa.hhs.gov.


The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA’s mission is to lead public health and service delivery efforts that promote mental health, prevent substance misuse, and provide treatments and supports to foster recovery while ensuring equitable access and better outcomes.

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