Hurricane Harvey Message

Dear Friends,
 

The Houston community has weathered a once-in-a-lifetime storm, with Hurricane Harvey and the associated floods leaving all Houstonians emotionally affected. For most, these reactions are temporary, and they will recover without intervention. For some, however, the impact of a disaster on their behavioral health will prove severe and long-lasting.

Throughout this devastating storm, Mental Health America of Greater Houston, community partners and providers have banded together to promote a sense of safety, connectedness, calmness and hope for individuals, families, children and communities. Houstonians are facing real trauma, unimaginable stress and devastating loss. Our goal is to help them rebuild their lives from a place of wellness.

We understand this is only the beginning of ongoing behavioral health efforts that our organization, along with mental health and primary care professionals throughout the region, will uniquely address as children, families, and individuals with mental health concerns rebuild and adjust to life after the storm.

Children and youth are among the most vulnerable to long lasting effects following the storm. Disasters threaten children’s perception that the world is safe and predictable, and recovery for them requires parents, caregivers, and the community to re-establish a protective barrier for them.

The Center for School Behavioral Health at Mental Health America of Greater Houston is working with 25 school districts and charter school districts to help educators address child trauma associated with disasters such as Hurricane Harvey.  Through best practice training models such as Mental Health First Aid and others, more than 700 child-serving professionals have already been educated this summer to recognize mental health concerns, to respond appropriately and to find available resources. 

As we all work together to care for the minds and spirits of people in our great city, the board and staff of Mental Health America of Greater Houston sincerely appreciate the volunteers who have offered their time, expertise and resources to care for the emotional and mental health of an entire community during this vulnerable time.

Thank you,

Susan Fordice
President and CEO