DES MOINES, Iowa — After close to 200,000 free crisis counseling visits and contacts with Iowans impacted by the 2010 natural disasters, Project Recovery Iowa will end its crisis counseling and outreach services Sept. 19.
Crisis counselors will continue to be available in the project’s seven counties until the project ends – Sept. 19. Anyone who continues to experience emotional or mental health issues associated with the 2010 disasters is encouraged to seek assistance from their local community health provider, said Teresa Zilk with the Iowa Department of Human Services.
The Iowa Concern Hotline, operated by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, answered calls for Project Recovery Iowa. After Sept. 19, all calls for Project Recovery Iowa will be referred to an Iowa Disaster Behavioral Health Response Team (DBHRT). The Iowa Concern hotline will continue to operate at 800-447-1985.
Zilk encouraged Iowans to call the Iowa Concern Hotline. “Someone is available 24 hours, seven days a week. You will not be able to get a crisis counselor to come to your door, but you will be able to speak to someone over the phone,” she said.
The Iowa Department of Human Service implemented Project Recovery Iowa in the wake of the 2010 natural disasters to help impacted Iowans regain a sense of normalcy and control in their lives. The program provided free and confidential crisis counseling services to Polk, Warren, Story, Hamilton, Jasper, Marion and Wapello counties.
Trained crisis counselors offered short-term services in each county. These services consisted of face-to-face individual and group crisis counseling in non-traditional settings such as a home, school or place of business. Educational services and referrals to community, state and federal programs also were provided.
Project Recovery Iowa was funded by a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).