Disaster Behavioral Health Services

Disaster Behavioral Health services support local, state and federal services to assist disaster survivors and help them:

  • Understand their current situation and reactions.
  • Prevent additional stress.
  • Promote the development of positive coping strategies.
  • Provide emotional support.
  • Connect them to other people, social service agencies or organizations that may help them recover.

Local authorities are the first to respond to the needs of disaster survivors. Disasters can significantly reduce their ability to provide services. State and federal assistance may be available after a disaster to help by coordinating and managing disaster behavioral health preparedness, response and recovery efforts for Texas before, during and after a local, state or federally declared emergency or disaster. These services include coordinating stress management and crisis counseling services at the local level.

Following a presidential disaster declaration, the state may apply for federal Crisis Counseling Assistance and Training Program grants. The state contracts with local providers, including local authorities, to provide grant services in these areas. Once approved, these crisis counseling grants provide short-term help and services to survivors.

Who is Eligible for Disaster Behavioral Health Services?

Anyone living in or traveling through a county included in a state, local or Presidential disaster declaration that includes individual assistance.

How Do I Get Disaster Behavioral Health Services?

  • Call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration toll-free Disaster Distress Helpline at 800-985-5900 and get immediate counseling 24/7. This free, confidential and multilingual crisis support service is also available via SMS (text TalkWithUs to 66746). Users will be connected to trained professionals from crisis counseling centers. Helpline staff provide confidential counseling, referrals and other support services.
  • LMHAs and LBHAs across the state also have crisis hotlines staffed 24/7.