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Counseling and case management fill crucial gap in Kentucky and Indiana
Post-traumatic stress, fears, anxiety, and depression are commonplace after disaster strikes, leaving survivors—especially the poor and uninsured—with nowhere to turn for mental health care. To help tornado survivors in hard-hit areas of Kentucky and Indiana, AmeriCares has launched recovery projects expected to help about 650 people in need.
“It only takes minutes for a tornado to flatten homes and businesses, but it can take survivors months, even years, to recover,” explained AmeriCares Director of Emergency Response Garrett Ingoglia. “We are glad we can help families in these devastated communities rebuild their lives.”
Mental health counseling in Kentucky
AmeriCares is working with a partner organization to offer mental health and counseling services for survivors of a series of deadly March 2012 tornadoes that touched down in rural Kentucky. Clinically-trained professionals will provide more than 670 hours of counseling over the next six months to reduce trauma-related symptoms and support survivors through the grieving process.
“While crisis counseling is supported by the government in some disaster areas, there is little support available for more in-depth therapy to address anxiety, depression, substance abuse and other more complex conditions that arise in the wake of traumatic events,” said Ingoglia.
Case management in Indiana
In Indiana, where an F-4 tornado caused massive destruction, AmeriCares is working with partners to help up to 300 survivors gain access to health care, mental health and rebuilding assistance. Case managers will help connect survivors to nonprofit and government services until federally-funded case management services begin. This assistance is critical in matching people with a variety of disaster-related needs—from home repair to mental health services — with available community resources.
The two new programs are AmeriCares latest relief efforts for U.S. disaster survivors. In March, first aid supplies, nutritional supplements, water and other emergency aid were delivered to tornado survivors in Kentucky. After another series of deadly tornadoes in April, AmeriCares delivered a truckload of bottled water to survivors in Oklahoma. In 2011, AmeriCares delivered nearly $3 million in aid for U.S. disaster survivors, including $600,000 in disaster recovery grants to help more than 62,000 people recover and prepare for future emergencies.
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