Health Department: Months After Storm, Many Still Dealing With Effects Of Sandy

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The New York City health department has launched an ad campaign highlighting free confidential counseling for people having problems dealing with the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.

Project Hope was launched shortly after Sandy in November 2012 in order to provide crisis counseling and emotional support for those hit hardest by the storm.

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Months after the storm, Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said many New Yorkers are still dealing the effects of Superstorm Sandy, both physically and emotionally.

In an effort to reach more New Yorkers who may be in need of crisis counseling, the health department debuted a new ad Monday that will run in subway cars, on buses and on the Staten Island Ferry through the month of August.

A new ad for Project Hope that will be running in subways and on buses. (credit: New York City Department of Health)

A new ad for Project Hope that will be running in subways and on buses. (credit: New York City Department of Health)

“People have lost their natural support mechanisms because entire neighborhoods have been devastated and people have dispersed throughout the city and into different states, so you can no longer go to your neighbor to get your advice or support,” Project Hope’s director Tamar Renaud told 1010 WINS.

She said crisis counselors can help people work through their emotions so they can take the next step toward recovery.

“We go door-to-door going into people’s homes, into their communities, schools and religious institutions and work with them so they can identify their own coping mechanisms,” Renaud said. “So a crisis counselor offers an ear and helps people by giving them tips.”

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A survey that was conducted in Brooklyn, the Rockaways and Staten Island back in December found that almost one-third of adults reported experiencing symptoms of serious psychological distress after the storm, according to the health department.

“The burden of mental health was also very high amongst children with one-third of children showing at least two psychological symptoms,” Renaud said.

There are currently 388 crisis counselors available to help.

If you or someone you know needs help dealing with the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, call 1-800-LIFENET to connect with a Project Hope provider.

LIFENET is a free, confidential helpline for New York City residents, available 24/7 with trained staff ready to take your calls: 1-800-543-3638 (English), 1-877-298-3373 (Spanish), 1-877-990-8585 (Chinese).

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