FRANKFORT, Ky. (WEHT) – If any tornado survivors find themselves in need of counseling services, they can get it for free.

FEMA says that free crisis counseling services can help survivors of the December 10 through 11 tornadoes cope with trauma. FEMA says it approved funding for crisis counseling for nine months through January 15, 2023. In the Tri-State, FEMA says that counseling is available to people living in Hopkins, Muhlenberg, and Ohio counties.

The news release says that those who want this free service should contact Kentucky’s 211 line. FEMA says this number can connect residents to health and human services agencies that can provide help to individuals and households recovering from the tornadoes.

In terms of the Tri-state, the news release says that The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Families is providing the program through these community behavioral health centers:

  • River Valley Behavioral Health (Ohio County): website
  • Pennyroyal Center (Hopkins and Muhlenberg counties): website

FEMA says that counselors meet with adults and children affected by the disaster in places such as shelters, homes and community buildings. FEMA says these counselors provide emotional support, education, basic crisis counseling and may refer survivors to local resources and disaster relief services in their own area. FEMA says that all services are anonymous, and no records or case files are kept. The news release notes that counselors usually live in the disaster area and are sometimes survivors themselves.

FEMA says that the Crisis Counseling program is conducted through a partnership between FEMA and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Center for Mental Health Services (SAMHSA). The news release says that SAMHSA’s Disaster Distress Helpline800-985-5990, provides 24/7, 365-days-a-year crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters.