LUTHERAN’S PROJECT HOPE CRISIS COUNSELING TEAMS PROVIDE SUPPORT TO HURRICANE SANDY SURVIVORS
Tuesday, April 02, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LUTHERAN'S PROJECT HOPE CRISIS COUNSELING TEAMS PROVIDE SUPPORT AND SERVICES TO HURRICANE SANDY SURVIVORS
Project HOPE crisis counselors reach out to 1,900 residents in Coney Island and Staten Island
April 2, 2013, Brooklyn, NY
Following Hurricane Sandy, Lutheran Family Health Centers (LFHC) was approached by the N.Y.C. Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to provide free, confidential crisis counseling services to individuals and families most affected by Hurricane Sandy through a grant-funded crisis counseling program called Project HOPE. Project HOPE helps individuals, families and groups cope after the storm by offering services which include individual and group counseling, public education, assessments and resource linkages in an effort to promote resilience and recovery.
The Project HOPE crisis counseling program found a natural home within Lutheran's Department of Community Based Programs which had already mobilized to provide assistance to employees impacted by Hurricane Sandy. Within one month, 20 crisis counseling staff were hired, trained and got to work immediately reaching out to help some of the hardest hit areas in Coney Island and Staten Island. Lutheran currently has three teams of six Project HOPE crisis counselors. One team is located in Coney Island and two teams are located in northern Staten Island. Lutheran's Project HOPE team is a diverse, passionate group of individuals that collectively speak over eight languages – Arabic, French, Italian, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish – representing the multi-ethnic population that was impacted by Hurricane Sandy.
To date, LFHC's Project HOPE teams have provided more than 450 individual/family crisis counseling services and have had 1,900 in-person educational and supportive encounters. All of these contacts have been provided in community-based settings such as faith-based organizations, schools, businesses, residential settings, NYCHA housing, bodegas and natural gathering places for communities. The purpose of the crisis counseling program is to help disaster victims recognize that, in most cases, their emotional reactions are normal while teaching coping skills that will allow them to resume their pre-disaster level of functioning and equilibrium.
Coney Island and Staten Island residents interested in Project HOPE information or services can connect to LFHC's Project HOPE at 347-377-4093. Survivors can also 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.
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