Mental Health America Offers Resources in Responding to Impact of Oklahoma Tornadoes

May 21, 2013, 11:02 ET from Mental Health America

ALEXANDRIA, Va., May 21, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Statement of Wayne W. Lindstrom, Ph.D., president and CEO of Mental Health America:

Mental Health America joins in Americans in mourning lives lost and lives damaged by the tornadoes in Oklahoma.

An event such as this not only causes grave physical damage, but also affects the mental health of families and residents. It will cause a tremendous amount of stress and anxiety for those directly and indirectly affected by the tornadoes. A number of resources are available to respond to the mental health needs of residents.

The Disaster Distress Helpline is a 24 hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week national service that offers phone- and text-based crisis counseling and support to people in distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster, to help them move forward on the path of recovery. You may reach the Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 or by texting "TalkWithUs" to 66746. Sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the Helpline immediately connects callers to trained and caring professionals from the closest crisis counseling center in the nationwide network of centers. The Helpline staff will provide confidential counseling, referrals and other needed support services. The Helpline complements the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other disaster response capacities, and is available immediately anywhere within the United States. This service is provided under contract with SAMHSA by Mental Health America's New York City affiliate.

Mental Health America has also developed guidelines to help Americans respond and cope with tragic natural disasters, which can be found at

Mental Health America's affiliates can also provide or direct individuals to appropriate resources in the community. To find an affiliate, go to

Mental Health America ( is the nation's largest and oldest community-based network dedicated to helping all Americans achieve wellness by living mentally healthier lives. With our 240 affiliates across the country, we touch the lives of millions—Advocating for changes in mental health and wellness policy; Educating the public & providing critical information; and delivering urgently needed mental health and wellness Programs and Services.

SOURCE Mental Health America