Governor Abbott, HHSC Announce $5.8 Million For Disaster Crisis Counseling Services

May 6, 2020 | Austin, Texas | Press Release

Governor Greg Abbott today announced that the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) has received $5.8 million in federal funding to provide crisis counseling services to Texans who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding is provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Immediate Services Crisis Counseling and Training Program. 

"I thank our partners at FEMA for providing this important funding to help Texans across the state," said Governor Abbott. "As Texas continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are working to provide Texans with access to the mental and emotional support resources they need."   

The grant allows 31 local mental health and behavioral health authorities (LMHAs/LBHAs) to connect Texans to short-term crisis counseling services that include reducing stress and providing emotional support, assisting survivors in reviewing their disaster recovery options, promoting the use or development of healthy coping strategies, connecting survivors with appropriate people and agencies that can help them, and referrals to other disaster recovery programs.

LMHA/LBHAs also collaborate with schools, shelters, nursing homes, emergency responders, healthcare providers, as well as local, state, and federal partners to reach those in need. Crisis counseling teams will work with individuals, groups, and organizations to provide educational materials, information, crisis counseling services, and referrals to local resources to assist individual needs. The grant is expected to help more than 260,000 people across the state.

For additional resources visit the Mental Health & Substance Use Resources web page. Texas residents can dial 2-1-1 to learn about programs and services.