A federal grant will be used to provide emotional support for New Jersey residents still struggling to recover from Superstorm Sandy.
The $11.5 million grant from FEMA will allow the New Jersey Hope and Healing Program to offer counseling and outreach services to Sandy survivors for the next nine months.
Adrienne Fessler Belli is the director of the Department of Human Service’s disaster branch. She says residents still wondering if they’ll be able to rebuild their homes can become anxious and develop a feeling of hopelessness.
“People can develop physical symptoms from not sleeping and not eating correctly because they are so stressed. If they’re feeling depressed, it’s a total disruption in their life. They just can’t do what they feel they need to do, we do hook them up with clinical services,” she said.
Belli says about a hundred counselors will be going door-to-door to offer assistance so residents trying to cope with their storm losses know they’re not alone.
The Hope and Healing Program helpline can be reached by calling 1-877-294-4357.