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HOWELL, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – New Jersey officials have launched an ad campaign promoting mental health services for those still coping with the devastation from superstorm Sandy.
As WCBS 880′s Levon Putney reported, about 200 counselors from New Jersey Hope and Healing Helpline have given emotional support to 300,000 callers since Sandy hit 11 months ago.
“Tremendous loss goes beyond bricks and mortar. Emotional counseling could be a critical tool in disaster recovery, so we want to make sure that everyone who needs our help knows where to find it.” state Human Services Commissioner Jennifer Velez said. “Today, we’re launching a bus poster campaign to help raise awareness.”
Helpline director Renee Burawski said the volume has dropped off a bit in recent months, but noted right after the storm there were 100 to 150 calls a week.
“Research has shown that it’s really important to get to survivors and those that are impacted in order to help build resiliency,” said Human Services Disaster and Terrorism Director Adrienne Fessler Belli.
The ads will appear on NJ TRANSIT buses, as well as on radio and TV.
The state agency said the hope is that over time, more will see the ads and bright yellow vests counselors wear at beaches and ask for help.
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