Our nation has experienced a series of unprecedented disasters in recent weeks, including three major hurricanes and a horrific attack that occurred in Las Vegas last Sunday night. In the midst of these great dangers, we repeatedly observe heroism and courage as our fellow Americans provided care and assisted others to safety. We recognize and honor those who have been impacted directly, their families and friends, and the heroic first responders and good samaritans who risked their lives to save others. Our SAMHSA staff also have families who have been impacted. We mourn the loss of innocent lives and the terrible injuries sustained by many others. The pain and devastation of these experiences are felt by so many of us and our fellow citizens as we all seek to recover. We at SAMHSA will do our part to assist. As President Trump told our nation, “To the families of the victims, we are praying for you and we are here for you, and we ask God to help see you through this very dark period. To the wounded who are now recovering in hospitals, we are praying for your full and speedy recovery, and pledge to you our support from this day forward.”
SAMHSA stands ready to help. We have already reached out to the impacted states and U.S. territories to let them know that we will work quickly to provide emergency funds to support efforts to help victims struggling with behavioral health issues related to these events. We will also provide technical assistance to the behavioral health community to assist them in providing treatment and recovery resources to those affected across the nation.
Our SAMHSA staff of caring professionals will continue to do everything possible to help our colleagues and fellow citizens begin to heal from the emotional pain of these experiences. I want to thank SAMHSA staff for their dedication to helping those coping with these traumatic events. With the support provided by our colleagues, we will help these brave individuals who must now take on the enormous task of recovering from these tragedies.
If you or someone you care about needs help coping with these tragedies, please contact SAMHSA’s Disaster Distress Helpline by calling 1-800-985-5990 or texting TalkWithUs to 66746.