More than $822,400 approved for crisis counseling


Last updated 11/29/2007 at Noon

PASADENA — The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved an $822,438 grant to the California Department of Mental Health for crisis-counseling services for victims of the recent Southern California wildfires in the disaster-affected counties.

“Losing a home, business or personal property to the wildfires takes not only a financial toll on victims but also levies an emotional impact,” said Mike Hall, head of the federal effort for the disaster. “This grant demonstrates the commitment of FEMA and the state to those suffering the emotional toll of this disaster.”

Crisis counseling can help wildfire victims deal with the normal stress brought on by an abnormal situation. Common reactions to a disaster may include nightmares, difficulty sleeping, feelings of being overwhelmed, hopelessness, increased anger or aggression, domestic violence, frustration and feelings of powerlessness.

These feelings can be exhibited by people of all ages. Children and the elderly are particularly vulnerable to post-disaster stress.

Crisis counseling is available for those who live or work in disaster-affected counties. Those who need help may call San Diego’s hotline number, (800) 479-3339, which is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.


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