Monday, December 17, 2012—When a tragic event happens, such as the mass shooting in Newton, CT, in which the lives of so many innocent children were lost, the entire country grieves together. As a result, it is common that people will experience strong emotions, and it may elicit memories of past loss and grief.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) would like to make sure that everyone is aware of the Disaster Distress Helpline; the Nation’s first permanent hotline dedicated to providing disaster crisis counseling.
This free, confidential, and multilingual crisis support service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for anyone experiencing psychological distress as a result of this tragedy:
· SMS: Text “TalkWithUs” to 66746.
For Spanish-speakers, Text “Hablanos” to 66746.
Callers are connected to trained and caring professionals from crisis counseling centers in the network. The Helpline staff provides confidential counseling, referrals, and other needed support services. The Helpline complements the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, FEMA, and other disaster response entities and is available immediately anywhere within the United States.
We ask that you share this information with all news and social media contacts you have so that the public is aware of this vital free resource. Please forward widely the attached flyer to as many listservs and media outlets you are aware of.
Additionally, the SAMHSA Disaster Technical Assistance Center (SAMHSA DTAC) has free downloadable resources about coping with grief, how to speak with children and youth about disasters and traumatic events, and other helpful materials. For more information, please visit the SAMHSA DTAC website at http://www.samhsa.gov/dtac/dbhis/. You can also contact SAMHSA DTAC by e-mailing DTAC@samhsa.hhs.gov or calling the toll-free hotline at 1-800-308-3515.
Together we offer support to those in need to recover from such a horrific tragedy.
Thank you for your continuous support.