New services available for flood victims

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Putnam County flood victims have a new service available to them. The Indiana Family Social Services Administration's (FSSA) Division of Mental Health and Addiction (DMHA) received a Crisis Counseling grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

This grant allows crisis-counseling teams to provide services to first responders, victims and their families in Putnam County who were impacted by recent flooding.

Free crisis counseling services will be provided through community outreach and public education. There are no medical or financial screening requirements to qualify for these services.

"Crisis counselors are available to listen and help Hoosiers cope with the stress and anxiety related to the recent disasters," said DMHA Director Cathy Boggs.

"This grant will allow us to aid disaster victims in their recovery by giving them the coping skills they need to move forward."

Common reactions from those persons who have experienced a disaster include regret, sadness, frustration, anger, fear, anxiety, headaches, sleep disturbances, eating disorders, avoidance of reminders of the disaster and reflection on the way in which life has changed.

DMHA advises people with these reactions to take time to relax, maintain routines, avoid using alcohol or drugs as coping mechanisms, and stay healthy.

Experts say it is important to talk about thoughts and feelings to help complete the healing process. Counselors are available to help adults, senior citizens, children and people with special needs through this program.

This project is administered by DMHA with 100 percent federal funds. Crisis counselors are accessible in Putnam and the surrounding counties by calling toll-free 866-679-4631 or visiting

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