Cooper announces $12.2M in crisis counseling for Florence survivors

Cooper announces $12.2M in crisis counseling for Florence survivors

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Governor Roy Cooper announced Friday that $12.2 million in grant funds will be used to expand crisis counseling services to Hurricane Florence survivors in 28 counties, including those in southeastern North Carolina.

The grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the Federal Emergency Management Agency provides direct support to North Carolinians in Bladen, Brunswick, Columbus, Duplin, New Hanover, Onslow, and Pender counties.

Other counties receiving the grant money include Beaufort, Carteret, Craven, Cumberland, Greene, Harnett, Hoke, Hyde, Johnston, Jones, Lee, Lenoir, Moore, Pamlico, Pitt, Richmond, Robeson, Sampson, Scotland, Wayne and Wilson.

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

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.

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, please click here.

For information about other resources available for those impacted by Hurricane Florence, please visit https://www.rebuild.nc.gov/.

Copyright 2019 WECT. All rights reserved.