Forty-seven years later, I still have vivid memories of the devastation my hometown, Corpus Christi, endured during Hurricane Celia in 1970. My family lived on the edge of poverty, so the sense of urgency and desperation was heightened as my divorced mother tried to navigate the resources available.
Nothing quite prepares you for the aftermath of a catastrophic event, a life altering event that forever shapes one’s perspective. Catastrophic events tend to be the “before and after” by which we remember things, and they tend to impact the mental and emotional state of those affected for months and years to come.
As we welcome our neighbors from coastal towns who are calling Austin “home” for now (and possibly permanently), NAMI Austin is working in coordination with other nonprofit organizations. We are coming together to assess and address the mental and emotional needs of our guests, each organization offering the best of its resources to assist the vulnerable populations of adults and children impacted by Hurricane Harvey.
For those displaced by Hurricane Harvey, a helpful general list of resources—such as shelter, food, flood claim assistance, and real-time flood information can be found here. There is also information on how to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey.
As we always have, NAMI Austin will be a source of hope and help in the community by providing resources, information and support. Join us in our work by accessing and sharing these resources:
- Disaster Distress Helpline is a 24/7, 365-day-a–year, national hotline dedicated to providing immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster. This toll-free, multilingual, and confidential crisis support service is available to all residents in the United States and its territories. Stress, anxiety, and other depression-like symptoms are common reactions after a disaster. Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.
- Crisis Text Line offers free 24/7 crisis support via text message. Text NAMI to 741-741 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.
- NAMI HelpLine is a free service that provides information, referrals and support to people living with a mental health condition, family members and caregivers, mental health providers and the public. The NAMI HelpLine can be reached Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m., ET. The number is 1-800-950-NAMI (6264).
- Magellan Crisis Line is a 24-hour crisis line for all residents of Texas. The toll-free number to access free, confidential counseling services is 1-800-327-7451.
Digital Fact Sheets
- Warning Signs and Risk Factors for Emotional Distress
- Coping After Disaster/Trauma
- Tips for Survivors: Coping with Grief After a Disaster or Traumatic Event
- Tips for Survivors of a Disaster or Other Traumatic Event: Managing Stress
- Tips for Health Care Practitioners and Responders: Helping Survivors Cope with Grief After a Disaster or Traumatic Event
- Psychological First Aid for First Responders: Tips for Emergency and Disaster Response Workers
I have yet to encounter anyone in this community who doesn’t have a family member or friend impacted by this devastating storm. It is inspiring and heartwarming to see the time, resources and energy our community is offering to address this crisis.
At NAMI, we remind caregivers that the race to recovery is not a sprint, but a marathon. We must take care of ourselves along the course so we have the energy to cross the finish line. Take breaks. Monitor your own physical and emotional health. Ask for help when you need it (because no one does this work alone!). Lastly, thank you for being a source of hope, help and healing in our community. I am Texan proud!