Receiving Disaster Assistance

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Following a disaster, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission coordinates efforts to provide both information and help to Texans. During a disaster this page will provide information on office openings, benefits and information about other groups offering aid. Read below for the types of help provided in past disasters.

Crisis Counseling — El Paso

Crisis Hotline at Emergence Health Network in El Paso, Texas: 915-779-1800 or 877-562-6467

The tragic incident of mass violence in El Paso will impact the whole community and country at large. It is common for all involved to experience emotional distress. Feelings such as increased anxiety or depression-like symptoms are common. At risk of emotional distress are survivors, family members, friends, first responders, recovery workers, and community members.

Where can I get help?

Emergence Health Network is offering community sessions. Topics and support conducted by licensed clinicians include anxiety, grief and loss, depression, trauma, vicarious trauma and PTSD.

El Paso Support Counseling Co-op provides in-person counseling and support. Visit the Emergence Health Network webpage to find a clinic time that works for you.

Daily sessions are being offered at the following locations:

  • East Valley Clinic, 2400 Trawood Drive, Suite 301, El Paso, TX 79936
  • CHAMPS, 8500 Boeing Drive, El Paso, TX 79925
  • El Paso Psychiatric Center, 4615 Alameda Ave. El Paso, TX 79905
  • University Medical Center — West, 6600 N. Desert Blvd., El Paso, TX 79912
  • Atlantis Health Services, 6028 Surety Drive, El Paso, TX 79905

Saturday sessions offered 11 a.m.—12:30 p.m. at all locations except the Trawood office.

Visit the HHS Disaster Behavioral Health webpage for resources in English and Spanish.

Resources for Adults

Psychological Impact of the Recent Shooting

Coping with Grief after Community Violence (PDF)

Resources for Children

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network provides the following resources:

To access these resources and others, go to The National Child Traumatic Stress Network's:

Resources for Care Providers and Administrators

Visit the HHS Providing Disaster Assistance page.

National Disaster Helpline

For people in the United States who need additional support, SAMHSA has a Disaster Distress Helpline.

To access, call 800-985-5990 or text TALKWITHUS to 66746.

Crisis Counseling — Midland and Odessa

The tragic incident of mass violence in the Midland-Odessa area will impact the whole community. It is common for those involved to experience emotional distress, increased anxiety or depression-like symptoms. At risk of emotional distress are survivors, family members, friends, first responders, recovery workers and community members.

Crisis Hotline at PermiaCare – 844-420-3964

PermiaCare, formerly known as Permian Basin Community Centers in Odessa, serves Brewster, Culberson, Ector, Hudspeth, Jeff Davis, Midland, Pecos and Presidio counties.

Disaster Distress Helpline – 800-985-5990

  • Deaf/Hard of Hearing – Text TalkWithUs to 66746 or TTY 800-846-8517
  • Spanish Speakers – Call 800-985-5990 and press "2" or text "Hablanos" to 66746

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 800-273-8255 in Spanish 888-628-9454

Resources for Adults Resources for Children
Coping with Grief after Community Violence Talking to Children about the Shooting
The Psychological Impact of the Recent Shooting Helping School-Age Children with Traumatic Grief: Tips for Caregivers
Tips for Parents on Media Coverage of a Shooting After a Crisis: Helping Young Children Heal
Helping Youth After a Community Trauma: Tips for Educators Guiding Adults in Talking with Children about Death and Attending Services
Tips for Survivors: Coping with Grief after a Disaster or Traumatic Event Age-Related Reactions To a Traumatic Event
Louisiana State University Terrorism and Disaster Center for Child and Family Resilience Brochure: The National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative
After the Injury: Helping Parents Help Their Kids Recover Help Kids Cope App
Coping with Stress Following a Mass Shooting For Teens: Coping after Mass Violence
College Students: Coping After the Recent Shooting After A Crisis: Helping Young Children Heal
Taking Care of your Emotional Health After Disaster Parent Guidelines for Helping Youth after the Recent Shooting
Resources for Care Providers and Administrators First Responder Resources
Psychological First Aid Preventing and Managing Stress: Tips for Disaster Responders
Office for Victims of Crime (OVC Mass Violence and Terrorism Toolkit Psychological First Aid for First Responders
OVC Victim Assistance Training 24-hour Emergency Hotline 410-313-2473
Top 10 Considerations for Mental Health Professionals Working in Schools After a Disaster COPLINE 800-267-5463
Grief Leadership: Leadership in the Wake of Tragedy Fire/EMS Helpline 888-731-3473
Health Care Toolbox Veteran's Crisis Line 800-273-8255
Leadership Communication: Anticipating and Responding to Stressful Events  
Sustaining the Psychological Well-being of Caregivers While Caring for Disaster Victims  

Tips for Using these Resources:

  • Many links provide handouts in both English and Spanish.
  • Use the links to create resource packets with handouts.
  • Print handouts to have available for community members at response locations. For example, family reunification centers, family assistance centers, first responder resiliency centers, schools, clinics and/or family resiliency centers.

Contact HHSC Disaster Behavioral Health staff for additional non-emergency materials and resources at dbhs@hhsc.state.tx.us or 512-206-5555.

Food

When a disaster strikes, HHSC will work with the federal government to make sure services such as SNAP food benefits remain available to our clients. In addition to administering Disaster SNAP, you might be able to get benefits early, have benefits replaced, buy hot foods with your Lone Star Card or have your benefits renewed automatically. In the event of an emergency lost Lone Star Cards can be replaced in a local office.

WIC can play an important role in helping families impacted by disasters get back on their feet. WIC benefits will continue to be provided during a disaster.

Healthcare

HHSC realizes a disaster can force families out of their homes, making it difficult to find health care. If a disaster strikes, HHSC and medical plans may work to:

  • Make sure you can see an out-of-network provider for emergency and non-emergency services if you evacuate.
  • Help you find a new doctor if you can't see your old doctor.
  • Make sure your service authorizations can be extended if the disaster affects your ability to get a new service authorization.
  • Reschedule your fair hearing if you miss the hearing because of the disaster.
  • Waive your CHIP co-payments for a period of time.

When a disaster strikes, you can get information from your medical plan or on this page about temporary adjustments to processes and policies HHSC implements as a result of a disaster.

Housing

Disaster Assistance Program offers housing assistance for home-owners and renters whose property has been damaged or destroyed in a federally declared disaster. The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency oversees and gives this type of help.

State Hospitals and State Supported Living Centers

Each state supported living center and state hospital has extensive evacuation plans and designated shelter sites in case we need to move our residents. Should an evacuation become necessary, we will contact the family as soon as possible.

We will update this site during an evacuation to identify the evacuating facility as well as the shelter site location. If you can't reach the facility through the social worker or switchboard during an emergency, call the HSCS Emergency Operations Center 512-206-5435.