Crisis Counseling Assistance and Training Program (CCP) grants reimburse the state mental health authority and tribal nations 100 percent of grant-eligible expenses. No matching funds are needed.

Crisis counseling is the application of individual and group treatment procedures that are designed to improve mental and emotional crises and resulting psychological and behavioral conditions caused by a major disaster or its aftermath. The purpose is to lessen the adverse mental health effects of disasters and trauma for the residents affected and first responders, whether those incidents result from natural hazards or are man-made.

CCP grants are funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which provide money for mental health assistance and training activities in counties included in a Presidential Disaster Declaration for Individual Assistance. The Center for Mental Health Services' Emergency Mental Health and Traumatic Stress Services Branch within the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration works with FEMA through an interagency agreement to provide technical assistance, consultation and training for state and local mental health staff, grant administration and program oversight.

CCP services can be provided by the state, territory or tribe, or through a contract with local service providers that are familiar with the communities affected by the disaster. In Texas, HHS contracts with local organizations to provide these confidential, free services. The CCP encourages the use of mental health professionals and trained paraprofessionals, preferably people who live and work in the community and reflect its cultural makeup.

Texans Recovering Together

Texans Recovering Together is the state CCP program. It is administered within the Disaster Behavioral Health Services branch of HHS and provides short-term stress management and crisis counseling to individuals and groups having psychological reactions to large-scale, presidentially declared disasters. By providing emotional support and interventions, Texans Recovering Together CCP grants help people recover from the impact of disasters.

Crisis counseling is a strengths-based, outreach-oriented approach to helping people affected by disasters identify and get personal and community resources that will aid the recovery process. It consists mainly of supportive, educational face-to-face interventions with people and communities in their natural environments. The CCP seeks to empower survivors by educating them about disaster reactions, teaching them coping skills, assessing them for individual needs and linking them to appropriate community resources.

Crisis counseling is considered strengths-based because it assumes most people affected by disasters are naturally resilient. By providing support, education and links to the community resources they need, people will be better equipped to recover from the negative consequences of disasters.

While crisis counseling assumes a natural resilience in the majority, it also includes screening and assessing for severe reactions in the minority. Crisis counselors know that few people will develop diagnosable conditions. They are trained to identify people having severe reactions and refer them to appropriate treatment services and community resources.

Funding for CCP grants is available to local mental health authorities and local behavioral health authorities through two grant programs:

  • The Immediate Services Program provides funds for up to 60 days of services right after a Presidential Disaster Declaration for Individual Assistance.
  • The Regular Services Program provides funds for up to nine months after a disaster declaration.

The key difference between traditional mental health treatment and disaster crisis counseling is the way services are provided. Mental health treatment for people with an existing mental health condition or disorder usually happen in a formal office setting, while CCP staff provide outreach to the greater community and services are provided in non-traditional settings.

Crisis counselors also strive to enhance social and emotional connections to others in the community and promote effective coping strategies and resilience. Counselors work closely with community organizations to get to know the available resources and connect survivors to needed services.

Learn more about CCP grants by clicking on the Resources tab.

HHS Grants Overview

Texas Health and Human Services develops and submits FEMA-funded CCP grant applications on behalf of HHS, local service providers and impacted communities in disaster-declared counties. Grant applications are based on local needs and developed in collaboration with local behavioral health service providers.

The HHS Disaster Behavioral Health Services branch oversees the federal grant programs by hiring staff to manage finances and coordinate with contracted service providers. Staff also monitor and report regularly to ensure program outreach objectives, staffing and expenditure parameters comply with grant provisions.

CCP staffing includes specialists who ensure outreach services to special survivor populations such as children, first responders, veterans, older adults, people with disabilities, single parents, people who are economically disadvantaged, non-English speakers and other traditionally underserved and vulnerable groups.

The main goals of the CCP include:

  • Relieving stress.
  • Reinforcing healthy coping strategies.
  • Reducing future behavioral health problems.
  • Promoting individual and community resilience.

Services provided through the CCP are anonymous, free and provided in non-traditional locations such as homes, shelters, hotels, disaster recovery centers, churches, schools, community events and other locations where people affected by disasters are located.

Immediate Services Program (ISP)

The ISP Crisis Counseling Assistance and Training Program grant provides immediate, short-term disaster relief and crisis counseling services for up to 60 days after a major disaster declaration.

Regular Service Program (RSP)

The RSP Crisis Counseling and Training Program provides help with disaster relief for up to nine months after a major disaster declaration. The RSP funds ongoing counseling services and support where clients can show continuing need for these services.

Contact Us

Mailing address:

Disaster Behavioral Health Services
Mental Health and Substance Abuse Division
Adult Mental Health Services
P.O. Box 149347, Mail Code 2008
Austin, TX 78714-9347

Phone: 512-206-5555

Email: DBHS@hhsc.state.tx.us