Last week following the Wildfire Community Preparedness Day live webinar, one of our virtual attendees reached out to share a fairly new and little known resource that’s available to every wildland/urban interface resident and community, and also to first responders and recovery personnel following a wildfire.
Within a few minutes of talking with Joe Samalin, the Outreach Manager for the Disaster Distress Helpline, I knew their free services would be a valuable tool for many. The Disaster Distress Helpline’s goal is to provide toll-free multilingual crisis counseling and support to individuals in distress from natural and man-made disasters and help them move forward on the path of recovery. Helpline and text services are available year-round, 24-hours a day, 7-days a week and are staffed by trained crisis counselors.
You’ll find their website has a plethora of information that we often hear people needing and wanting following a wildfire. A quick visit to the site and you’ll want to add the information to your toolkits and website. Services are federally funded and administered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).