New Mental Health and Recovery Efforts For Puerto Rico

Mayor Bill de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray are joined by the Black Eyed Peas at Bronx EMS Station 26 to make a hurricane relief-related announcement on Saturday, October 7, 2017. Credit: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray are joined by the Black Eyed Peas at Bronx EMS Station 26 to make a hurricane relief-related announcement on Saturday, October 7, 2017. Credit: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office.

NYC Well will collaborate with the national Disaster Distress Helpline to strengthen mental health outreach

On Saturday, Mayor Bill de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray joined will.i.am and the Black Eyed Peas in the Bronx to announce a new mental health collaborative to augment Hurricane Maria relief efforts.

The collaborative brings together ThriveNYC workers and the city’s NYC Well program in a partnership with the nation’s premier counseling service, the Disaster Distress Helpline, to provide mental health first-aid to the residents of Puerto Rico, volunteers as well as city residents.

NYC Well call center staff stands ready to respond to community mental health needs, including services for Puerto Ricans experiencing the trauma of evacuating their home and local volunteers returning to New York City after supporting hurricane relief efforts. As a result, NYC Well will bolster its Spanish-speaking and bilingual call center staff to ensure that counselors are effectively trained and have competence in Psychological First Aid and Disaster Counseling.

“Nearly three weeks after Hurricane Maria, the vast majority of Puerto Rico lacks power and most families are without running water. Whether you’re the latest relative to arrive in NYC, or the compassionate volunteer in PR assisting families in need, know that counseling and referral services are available. I thank First Lady McCray for leading this effort, and all of the dedicated mental health staff at NYC Well and the Disaster Distress Helpline for their time, expertise and emotional support during these trying times,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“We are all one and it is our duty and privilege to come together to help each other in a time of need,” said the Black Eyed Peas in a statement. “We are proud to be of service and do anything we can to help our brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico.”

City emergency services personnel that have been deployed to Puerto Rico will provide technical support on the ground to help ensure that electricity is restored on the island and raise awareness about the mental health support that DDH is providing to the Puerto Rican community. As of today, 158 City workers are in Puerto Rico.

New Yorkers are urged to continue making donations of batteries, baby food, diapers, first aid supplies and feminine hygiene products. NYC Emergency Management teams on the ground in San Juan are assisting with the distribution of supplies, as well as coordinating logistics and recovery operations.

Print Friendly
Share this Article: