The creation of 240 temporary job openings, which will consist of positions to assist those still struggling in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, was announced this week by Nassau County. The positions, which will consist of crisis counseling services for which training will be provided, are slated to last somewhere between six weeks and nine months.
The Nassau County Office of Mental Health received a $1.8 million grant earlier this month to provide counseling and referral services to those impacted by Sandy’s devastation. The New York State Office of Mental Health Services will provide applicants with the proper training. Applicants need not be licensed professionals.
Those still suffering from the aftereffects of Super Storm Sandy will be offered crisis counseling services free of charge; these services will be administered by the New York State Office of Mental Health Services, in conjunction with the County’s mental health agency, for a minimum of six weeks – and a possible extension to nine months.
Nassau’s $1.8 million share of the grant will be equally distributed to 12 local social service-type agencies, which have historically contracted with Nassau’s Mental Health office. Each agency would be tasked with hiring, or extending the hours of, 14 workers to be crisis counselors and two from each to be team leaders.
Once trained in crisis management, counselors will identify those needing support or referrals to a wide array of services and then help steer those individuals to appropriate resources and care. They will help those who have yet to receive financial assistance they’re due, by walking them through the often complicated reimbursement application process. Counselors will listen to the victims and help them deal with stress and anxiety in the aftermath of the storm.
County Executive Mangano said that help should be made available to anyone still struggling with the loss and devastation many were forced to cope with in the wake of the recent superstorm.
“The devastation of Hurricane Sandy will be felt by many residents long after the debris is cleared and power restored to our neighborhoods,” he said. “I’m encouraged that the state and federal government continue to recognize the needs of Nassau residents. The employment program will assist recently unemployed residents while we continue the process of rebuilding our economy.”
If you are experiencing adverse reactions to the devastation left by Hurricane Sandy, or are feeling depressed, overly anxious, helpless or hopeless, please call: 1-800-LIFENET.