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Hurricane survivor services outreach ends Friday
Gateway Behavioral Health Services logo

Gateway Behavioral Health was selected by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide community liaison services throughout the coast in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew.

The primary aim of the program is to help people affected by the hurricane to recover and rebuild their lives.

Gateway has hired 27 people to conduct crisis outreach and gather information within the area. The outreach teams seek information about unmet needs and the existing supports that may be helpful in the wake of the hurricane.

They also provide crisis counseling and services. The program is a FEMA-designed, short-term intervention to:

• help disaster survivors understand their current situation and reactions;

• reduce stress and provide emotional support;

• assist survivors in reviewing their disaster recovery options;

• promote the use or development of coping strategies; and

• connect survivors with other people and agencies that can help recovery.

A news release from Gateway said the promote resilience to survivors and services are anonymous.

"Crisis workers do not classify, label, or diagnose people. No records or case files are kept," the release said.

The program offers services to disaster survivors in their homes, in shelters, at temporary living sites, or in houses of worship. The services include basic supportive or educational contact; community networking and support; assessments and resource referrals; development and distribution of educational materials; and media and public service announcements.

The program ends Friday, unless FEMA decides to extend it.

If you would like to speak with someone about the services in Liberty County, call: Kevin Ott 912-580-9318 or Dominique Mack 912-217-0763, in Long County, call: Christine Askew 912-239-0770, Myron Burton 912-239-8448, Christian Noble 912-239-0899 or Christina Early 912-239-0778.

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