Help Is a Phone Call Away

Chances are good that if you’re a resident of Florida, you or someone you know suffered a pretty serious blow from the recent hurricane.

I’ve said it a million times: The stress of hurricane season is the price we pay for living in a veritable paradise. This year, that stress was intensified by not just the threat of a storm, but the landfall of an incredibly powerful Category 4 storm. Hurricane Ian kept us on the edge of our seats as it stalked the state of Florida and kept residents guessing if and where it would make landfall. For many people, that uncertainty alone is stressful. 

So when the storm does make landfall and carve a path of destruction like Ian did, the stress of losing your home and belongings, having to manage without power and water, and having to make costly repairs can take a toll on the psyche. 

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has tools to help if you are experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters. The Disaster Distress Helpline was specifically created to help people during these trying times. It helps people in need of counseling get on the path to recovery, and it offers support before, during, and after disasters. The helpline is staffed by counselors from crisis call centers across the nation, and they can help with everything from counseling to tips for coping and referrals to local resources for follow-up care. You can even remain anonymous. 

If there is one thing you remember as we recover from the storm, make it this number: 1-800-985-5990. You can text or call, and help is available in more than 100 languages.

In addition, the Florida Department of Health and DCF have partnered to offer three months of free online therapy to those impacted by Hurricane Ian. To learn more, go to and use the code: HurricaneIan.

Florida will recover and rebuild. You owe it to yourself to do the same.

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