NY gets $8.2M for storm crisis counseling

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The federal government has approved an $8.2 million grant to provide crisis counseling to New Yorkers in areas hit hardest by superstorm Sandy, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced Monday.

The grant, from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, will establish a training program called Project Hope to provide counseling and educational services to residents of Long Island, New York City and the lower Hudson Valley. It is expected to employ nearly 1,000 trained crisis counselors to help individuals obtain information, assistance and referrals.

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano said in a statement that the program "will be available to those who may need help in dealing with the stress and trauma" of the storm and its aftermath."

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Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said, "providing special crisis counseling and comfort to the many traumatized children and families struggling to piece their lives together again is critical to the long-term healing of our community."

The state also is operating disaster recovery centers that deploy state Office of Mental Health professionals. Confidential crisis counseling can be obtained by calling 1-800-543-3638.

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