This Crisis Counseling Program provides short term interventions to individuals and groups experiencing psychological reactions Hurricane Harvey.
Texans Recovering Together crisis counseling program’s outreach workers since September 17, 2017 have been meeting survivors in their homes, churches, schools and community events. Workers don’t make diagnoses and they don’t keep records. Rather, they advise survivors on how to deal with stress, what warning signs to look for, and direct them to resources in their community. A listening ear and a suggestion for healthy coping strategy can often save a survivor from the need of more costly and complex clinical treatment for behavioral health symptoms like post-traumatic stress disorder.
The Harris Center, the local service provider in the $14M Texans Recovering Together crisis counseling program to Hurricane Harvey survivors in Harris County, has a team of 66 workers.
So far, program workers throughout the state of Texas have met over 80,000 people in the 31 disaster-declared counties they serve.
At least 70 percent of all adults experience a traumatic event in their lifetime. About 25 percent of all children will experience trauma before age 18. Re-adjusting to new circumstances and beginning to rebuild lives after a disaster is a phase that may not set in until up to one year after the disaster, and can last three years.
People experience events like Hurricane Harvey differently and may show signs of stress and other expected physical and emotional responses in different ways.
- What to look for in adults: Eating or sleeping too much or too little, pulling away from people and things, having low or no energy, feeling helpless or hopeless, excessive drinking, smoking, or drug use (including prescription medications), worrying, feeling guilty without knowing why, thinking of hurting yourself or others, difficulty readjusting to home or work life.
- What to look for in teenagers and children: Withdrawing from playgroups and friends, competing for attention, being unwilling to leave home, being less interested in schoolwork, becoming more aggressive, more conflicts with peers or parents, or difficulty concentrating.
Funding for the Crisis Counseling program is made available through the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Assistance and Emergency Relief Act (P.L. 93-288 as amended) following Federally Declared Disasters and is divided into two grant applications that include:
- Immediate Services Program - 60 Day program from date of federal disaster declaration that allows the State and Local Providers to assess the need for the Regular Services Program.
- Regular Services Program - 9 Month program that allows for the formation of dedicated teams to deliver Crisis Counseling Services.
- Teams are hosted by and services are delivered through The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) and contracted local service providers.
The Texans Recovering Together crisis counseling program continues through October 31, 2018.
To learn more about Texans Recovering Together, click here.