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Newsroom SRS Offers Free Crisis Couneling to Disaster Victims
7/30/2007

The Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services (SRS) is offering free crisis counseling to residents of counties declared federal disaster areas for up to one year following the disaster.


SRS provides disaster response crisis counseling services through contracts with Kansas All-Hazards Behavioral Health (KAHBH). The contracts were developed so that at any given time, a core team of trained individuals are available to provide behavior health crisis services to victims and first responders during a disaster at a moment notice.


Referrals for crisis counseling services are made by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials, Community Mental Health Center (CMHC) professionals, and Disaster Recover Center (DRC) workers. Crisis counselors also conduct outreach by walking the disaster site with the purpose of identifying individuals who may need assistance now or in the future.


Crisis counseling and outreach is provided by professionals from around the state who are trained in the FEMA model of crisis counseling. “A collaborative effort is made to ensure that everyone who is in need of mental health treatment following a disaster has access to services,” said SRS Secretary Don Jordan. 


Individuals living in Kiowa, Stafford, Edwards, Pratt, and Comanche Counties affected by the Greensburg tornado are eligible for crisis counseling as are residents of Allen, Cowley, Elk, Labette, Linn, Miami, Montgomery, Neosho and Wilson Counties affected by the flooding in Southeast Kansas.  


After the tornado hit Greensburg, crisis counselors were on the ground within 48 hours of the disaster. Approximately 17,134 outreach contacts and 803 crisis counseling contacts have been provided since the tornado. It is estimated that as many as 8,345 people in Greensburg and the surrounding counties will need crisis counseling services in the next year for issues related to post traumatic stress or depression. 


For more information about disaster crisis counseling or to receive services, please call 1-800-575-2038.