Resources from our colleague Dennis Romero at SAMHSA

Dear Behavioral Health Colleagues,

Once again we are shaken and saddened by last week’s tragic news of
shootings and violence. Across the country lives were lost, and families,
friends, and colleagues left with a void.

The SAMHSA community recognizes and grieves the devastating impact of hate
and violence. We offer our support and compassion to the survivors,
families, friends, and colleagues of the Dallas, Minnesota, and Louisiana
communities, the African American community, and others who may be at risk
of increased prejudice, discrimination, and victimization as a result of
the recent tragedies. Our respect and gratitude go out to the Nation’s law
enforcement servant leaders who risk their lives to serve and protect all
of us.

SAMHSA’s response included SAMHSA Regional Administrator in Region VI
engaging with state and local officials and making SAMHSA’s resources and
trauma informed support available should the state choose to make such
request. Other responses included:

· SAMHSA has highlighted the SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline
(DDH) information and resources for those who may be affected by the
emergent events.

· SAMHSA’s tip sheet “*Tips for Survivors: Coping with Grief After
Community Violence*” has been highlighted on the SAMHSA Carousel at:
www.samhsa.gov/.

· SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline (DDH) messages were posted on
Facebook and Twitter at: www.facebook.com/distresshelpline?fref=ts
and twitter.com/distressline.

· We shared targeted SAMHSA behavioral health resources, including
information for disaster response personnel and survivors and links to
appropriate organizations and agencies.

We understand that traumatic events such as these are unexpected and often
bring out strong emotions. Please ensure your colleagues, grantees, and
networks know they can *call the Disaster Distress Helpline’s toll-free
number (1-800-985-5990)* and receive immediate counseling. This free,
confidential, and multilingual crisis support service is also available via
SMS (text TalkWithUs to 66746) to anyone experiencing psychological
distress as a result of this event. Callers and texters are connected to
trained and caring professionals from crisis counseling centers in the
network. The Helpline staff provides confidential counseling, referrals,
and other needed support services.

Experiencing acts of hate and violence involving mass violence, extreme
trauma, and threats causes predictable human reactions. As we make gains,
we also see growing physical safety concerns and behavioral health
challenges in the public arena. We, as professionals working to advance
the behavioral health of the nation, should be aware of this context.
SAMHSA has a number of resources (see attached) available to support
individuals, families, and communities – please feel free to share them
widely.

Each emergency or disaster event changes individual lives, and creates a
sense of insecurity in entire communities. Last week was an important
reminder that each individual and each community offers strong historical
significance to our country. Individual and community-based healing is
important for reinforcing community strengths and promoting recovery.
Resilience is an important benefit that we all have within and should all
use to foster healing.

Wishing you all well in this difficult time,

pdf icon SAMHSA-Disaster-behavioral-health-resources-immediate-response.pdf

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