Disaster Distress Hotline

I mentioned this service of the federal SAMHSA a while back, but it is worth repeating. See: SAMHSA’s Disaster Distress Helpline provides crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters.

Update: Be sure to read the comment from a reader about the value of this service.

3 thoughts on “Disaster Distress Hotline

  1. I reached out to Ms. Rubin two years ago when our community lost 19 Hotshots, ( a crew of elite wildland firefighters). Prescott, AZ is a small city of 50,000 and most had a connection to at least one of the Hotshots. It was horrific and a collective grief. I think even our own mental health community was affected.
    Ms. Rubin suggested I call the SAMHSA hotline and it I did. I was such a relief to me as the counselor at the other end was well informed and trained in providing disaster related mental health assistance. I remember most clearly her explaining about grief and how we all grieve at our own pace and that is normal and okay.
    I was able to take a deep breath and work within the community to help my own family; my son being a former Hotshot, and other family and friends who needed a shoulder. Mostly, I gave them the SAMHSA Hotline number.
    I learned two things by that tragedy; both I already knew. The first being ” your disaster always seems to be the worse disaster’, until you are able to take stock of the event. Also, when one is close to it, no matter how well trained one is, they forget all they’ve learned, such a MD treating a family member’s serious medical needs.
    I kept saying to myself, “I should know”…I work in Emergency Management and Recovery. I was as lost as the next person.
    I won’t forget Claire’s kindness and knowledge in giving me some direction to get some help.

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