September 22, 2008
Crisis counseling and assistance with stress management are available statewide to anyone who has been affected by Hurricane Ike.
People may call 2-1-1 to get a crisis hotline number or to find stress management, crisis counseling, substance abuse and spiritual assistance in their community. Help also is available by calling the designated mental health/mental retardation (MHMR) center, at shelters, at local points of dispensing (PODs) and at Disaster Recovery Centers. Most Disaster Recovery Centers are open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
“Counseling and stress management play essential roles in helping people begin to recover from a disaster,” said Dr. David Lakey, Commissioner, Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS).
“This hurricane season has been a long and extremely active one. Some Texans have suffered multiple losses from different severe weather events this summer,” he said. “People can benefit from these crisis counseling services on a daily basis, learn coping techniques and have a safe place to talk about these events.”
Lakey said crisis counseling helps people deal with traumatic events that may often bring out emotional reactions such as frustration, nightmares, sadness or anger. Though these responses are to be expected, they can sometimes interfere with daily life, especially for children, the elderly, the disabled and low-income residents for whom recovery may be more difficult.
Services, available in English and Spanish statewide, include outreach and referral to other disaster assistance groups and organizations.
Note: List of MHMR centers providing crisis services follows.
(News Media: For more information, contact Emily Palmer, DSHS Assistant Press Officer, 512-532-4969 or 512-458-7400.)
The following mental health/mental retardation centers provide crisis services for affected counties:
- ACCESS MHMR Center; Anderson and Cherokee counties; (800) 621-1693.
- Brazos Valley MHMR Center; Brazos, Burleson, Grimes, Leon, Madison, Robertson and Washington counties; (888) 522-8262.
- The Burke Center; Angelina, San Augustine, Houston, Jasper, Nacogdoches, Newton, Polk, Sabine, San Jacinto and Shelby counties; (800) 392-8343.
- Gulf Coast MHMR Center; Brazoria and Galveston counties; (866) 729-3848.
- Harris County MHMR Center; Harris County; (713) 970-7070.
- Spindletop MHMR Center; Hardin, Jefferson, Chambers and Orange counties; (800) 937-8097.
- Texana MHMR Center; Austin, Colorado, Fort Bend, Matagorda, Waller and Wharton counties; (800) 633-5686.
- Tri-County MHMR Center; Liberty, Montgomery and Walker counties; (800) 659-6994.