$4 million federal grant enables crisis counseling to continue in Colorado

The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced on Tuesday that crisis counseling services for survivors of the September 2013 flooding disaster in Colorado will continue as a result of a $4 million grant.

The grant was provided by FEMA and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration through the 2014 Crisis Counseling Assistance and Training Program to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Counselors will continue door-to-door services and community outreach. Counselors have talked with 18,178 people and given referrals to more than 88,000 since the disaster.

The Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act in 1974 established the CCP to offer mental health assistance and training in presidentially declared disaster areas.

CCP Counselors do not classify or diagnose people and records and case files are not kept. Counselors are outreach oriented, and go into communities to provide support instead of waiting for people to come to them. Often, help is provided in nontraditional settings, such as homes and communities.

The program is designed to support existing systems, not replace existing community systems and support networks.

Through the program, people and groups receive crisis counseling in order to help survivors cope and review available options. The program delivers disaster-related information via flyers, brochures and online, and helps the community rebuild relationships through organizations, faith-based groups and local agencies.