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DHS Resources for Disaster Response & Mental Health

The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services  (DHS) has put together the following resources for how to help yourself and others in the aftermath of a natural disaster or trauma.  (Content from DHS.)

What is a normal response?

Following a traumatic event, an emotional response can be expected. Everyone is different, and it is normal to feel a range of intense emotions as you process what happened.

How do I take care of myself after a traumatic event?

It is important to practice self-care following a traumatic event. The checklist below outlines some of the best ways to maintain your mental and physical health.

How can I help others process?

We can all help survivors of traumatic experiences by validating their experiences. Keep these helpful tips in mind as you talk and listen to those affected:

When should I seek professional help?

It is often necessary to seek help in order to move forward. You are not alone, and professional help is available. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms below, it may be time to reach out. Help is available from the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990, or text “TalkWithUs” to 66746.

More Information

If you or someone you know is struggling, resources are available to help make sense of and cope with trauma. The federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has resources for victims and their loved ones, first responders, and all affected after a disaster. Call their toll-free Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990, or text “TalkWithUs” to 66746 to receive immediate counseling from trained, caring professionals. Helpline staff also can make referrals to in-person counseling services and other support services.

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