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Cooper announces $12.2 million grant for crisis counseling for Hurricane Florence survivors

North Carolina will receive a $12.2 million grant to expand crisis counseling services to Hurricane Florence survivors in 28 counties.

Governor Roy Cooper announced the grant April 12.

“Along with physical damage to homes and businesses, storms like Florence take an emotional toll,” Gov. Cooper said. “This grant will help meet the need for mental health services as North Carolinians work to rebuild.”

North Carolinians in Hyde County will receive help from this grant.

The grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the Federal Emergency Management Agency provides direct support to North Carolinians in Beaufort, Bladen, Brunswick, Carteret, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Duplin, Greene, Harnett, Hoke, Hyde, Johnston, Jones, Lee, Lenoir, Moore, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico, Pender, Pitt, Richmond, Robeson, Sampson, Scotland, Wayne and Wilson counties.

The new $12.2 million grant is a continuation of an initial $3.5 million to fund the Hope 4 NC program. Hope 4 NC was created to address the behavioral health needs of those affected by Hurricane Matthew and now subsequent hurricanes.

The program employs local licensed clinicians and professional counseling staff to connect directly with survivors in their communities. Counselors go door-to-door, provide counseling, and help connect adults and children to services – such as long-term counseling, housing supports, and other social services – that help sustain their recovery. Outreach from Hope 4 NC to Florence survivors began immediately after the storm and will continue through 2019.

Since Florence hit, Hope 4 NC has already connected with 90,000 people in these 28 counties, with support from nearly 200 crisis counselors. Counselors help survivors discuss what they experienced and work through the trauma in healthy ways. Over 10,000 individuals have received more involved risk assessments, half of which were referred for more intensive mental health services.

“Disasters are stressful, there is no right or wrong way to feel, and North Carolinians will continue to experience the impacts of these hurricanes long after the storm,” said Kody H. Kinsley, DHHS Deputy Secretary for Behavioral Health and Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities IDD. “We are committed to ensuring survivors fully recover mentally and physically, while working to build lasting resiliency in their homes and communities.”

Those in need of assistance can call the Hope 4 NC Crisis Counseling Services Hotline at 1-855-587-3463 (FIND). Operators are available 24/7, to link survivors with crisis counseling staff who can visit in person or facilitate access to more intensive services as needed in their communities. For additional information about behavioral health after a hurricane, visit ncdhhs.gov/assistance/hurricane-florence.

For information about other resources available for those impacted by Hurricane Florence, visit rebuild.nc.gov.

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