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Free Crisis Counseling Helps Harvey Survivors Cope

The program is run by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission and funded through grants from FEMA totaling $13.9 million.

(TNS) - Recovering from Hurricane Harvey doesn’t just mean rebuilding a home or finding a new job. Long after one’s physical recovery is complete, the signs of stress and trauma may remain.

Texans Recovering Together provides free, confidential crisis counseling and referral services to help survivors work through their disaster recovery, according to a news release Monday.

The program is run by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission and funded through grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency totaling $13.9 million.

Crisis counseling providers work through home visits and community settings for Texans Recovering Together rather than conducting sessions in an office. Counselors and survivors can dial 211 to be referred to local providers.

More than 147,000 survivors of Harvey have received individual crisis counseling, group crisis counseling, public education, community networking services, educational contacts or basic support through the program. Services provided include lessons on stress management techniques and coping mechanisms as well as connections to disaster-relief resources.

The crisis counseling program enhances mental health resilience among survivors who are displaced, jobless, homeless, impoverished or faced with stress and other common responses to disaster trauma. Experts say the stress of adjusting to new circumstances and beginning to rebuild after a disaster may not set in for up to a year.

Crisis counseling is available through Texans Recovering Together for all 31 counties affected by Harvey, including Victoria, Calhoun, DeWitt, Goliad, Jackson, Lavaca and Refugio. Additional disaster behavioral health resources can be found here.


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