November 1, 2013, Brooklyn, NY…
Many still struggle a year after Hurricane Sandy devastatingly impacted New York. During the last year, the Lutheran Family Health Centers' (LFHC) Project Hope teams have offered free confidential crisis counseling services to individuals and families in Coney Island and Staten Island who are still coping after the storm. Services provided have included individual and group counseling, public education, assessments and resource linkages in an effort to promote resilience and recovery. These services will continue through February 2014.
On the one year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, Suzann Jacquez-Sanchez appeared on Brooklyn Independant Media's BK Live to discuss how Lutheran's Project Hope teams are helping survivors cope and connecting them to community resources. View the interview at http://bit.ly/181c8SU.
"While there is much evidence of resiliency and hope, many New Yorkers continue to struggle a year after Hurricane Sandy," said Suzann Jacquez-Sanchez, LCSW, director, LFHC Family Support Center. "LFHC's Project Hope team will continue to have a presence in Coney Island and Staten Island to help survivors find ways to cope, manage their reactions, problem solve, and connect with community resources."
To date, LFHC's Project HOPE teams have provided crisis counseling to 8,765 New Yorkers and have had over 400 group psycho-education and counseling sessions. All of these contacts have been provided in community-based settings such as schools, daycare, faith-based organizations, businesses, residential settings, NYCHA housing, bodegas and natural gathering places for communities.
Through the help of the N.Y.C. Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the LFHC Community-Based Programs established three teams of six for its Project HOPE teams. One team is stationed in Coney Island and two teams are located in Staten Island. Lutheran's Project HOPE teams are also a diverse, passionate group of individuals who collectively speak over eight languages – Arabic, English, French, Italian, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish – representing the multi-ethnic population that was impacted by Hurricane Sandy.
Helpful tips to cope with the anniversary of Hurricane Sandy:
• Recognize and appreciate your strengths and how far you've come.
• Be patient with yourself.
• Connect with others: be a caring neighbor, reach out to an old friend, spend time with your family.
• If you have kids, take the time to talk with them about the storm and listen carefully to how they are feeling a year later.
Coney Island and Staten Island residents interested in Project Hope information or services can connect to LFHC's Project Hope at 347-377-4093 or call 1-800-LIFENET, a 24/7 confidential referral hotline network that matches Hurricane Sandy survivors with a Project Hope provider agency in their community. Project Hope is a program of the N.Y.S. Office of Mental Health, funded through a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant, and administered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.