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Louisiana Department of Health & Hospitals | Kathy Kliebert, Secretary

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About Louisiana Spirit

Louisiana SpiritThe Louisiana Spirit Crisis Counseling Program (commonly referred to as "Louisiana Spirit") is funded through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and administrated by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA). The program is under the auspice of the Louisiana State Department of Health and Hospitals, Office of Behavioral Health (DHH/OBH).

Historically, Louisiana Spirit has provided assistance to individuals and families affected by Hurricane Katrina, Rita, Gustav, Ike and Isaac. The program had a pivotal role in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill along the Louisiana Gulf Coast.

Most recently, Louisiana Spirit has been an active participant in responding to the March 2010 Severe Weather Event, which has had an impact on the emotional, physical and mental health of our citizens.

Louisiana Spirit is often reactivated immediately following a presidential declaration that includes the provision of individual assistance through the Crisis Counseling Program (CCP), which is based on short-term intervention to promote resilience, empowerment, and recovery.

Louisiana Spirit provides adult and child needs assessment and referral to additional disaster relief services or mental health or substance abuse treatment, counseling goals to assist disaster survivors in understanding their current situation and reactions, mitigate stress, review their disaster recovery options, and provide general support/information on resources and services available. The program encourages linkage with other individuals and agencies that may assist them in their recovery process while they strive to return to their pre-disaster level of functioning.

Louisiana Spirit employs a diverse workforce of social service providers, first responders, clinicians and ordinary people or survivors, particularly those indigenous and knowledgeable about the local impacted communities. Employees are under the direct supervision of the various human services districts and authorities offering services within their respective disaster impacted communities.

Louisiana Spirit's providers in collaboration with the DHH/OBH offer disaster mental health interventions, which includes outreach crisis counseling and education to disaster survivors, their families, staff of local governments, rescuers, disaster first responders, business owners, religious communities and other special populations. Free stress management services are available for employees of public, private and non-profit entities statewide.

Louisiana Spirit has become an important model for response to a variety of catastrophic events. It symbolizes Louisianans' recovery and the process of moving forward in their lives from a health-based perspective.

To speak with a Louisiana Spirit crisis counselor, call 1-866-310-7977.

To reach the SAMHSA Disaster Distress National Helpline, call 1-800-985-5990 or text the message "TalkWithUs" to 66746.

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 Related Articles:

One Year after Hurricane Isaac, DHH Reminds Residents Affected by the Storm that Counseling Services Still Available through Louisiana Spirit

 Louisiana Spirit Hurricane Recovery Documentary Site