A LifeLine For Haiti

Lets take a moment to think of and pray for everyone effected by the devastation in Haiti.   And, if you would like to do more, please take a look at the following emails I received:

Switchboard of Miami, Inc. anticipates both an increased call volume and need for community mental health outreach.  Needed are short-term volunteers and interns with backgrounds in mental health, social work, psychology and/or psychiatry to answer incoming calls and to assist with special community mental needs related to the earthquake in Haiti.  Those interested should call or email Carolyn Broughton 305-358-1640 x 159 or cbroughton@switchboardmiami.org.

Maryllis Baluja
Resource Coordinator
AIRS Certificed Resource Specialist (CRS)
Switchboard Of Miami
701 SW 27th Avenue, Suite 1000
Miami FL 33135
Tel: (305) 358-1640 x148
Fax: (305) 377-2269

24-Hour HELPline: (305) 358-4357 or 211
TTY: (305) 644-9449 or 211, opt 4

#########################################################

Lifeline Colleagues:

In the wake of the devastating events in Haiti, Switchboard of Miami passed the request for volunteers below onto the Lifeline. If any of your volunteers are willing and able to provide Switchboard with any support, please contact Carolyn Broughton at the number below.

While much of the current need for U.S. Haitian populations is to gain information about the safety and whereabouts of any loved ones they may have there, they may also be experiencing concomitant anxiety and acute stress reactions. In addition, constant images on the news of the terrible suffering there may also be affecting unrelated persons with a history of trauma, including those who have themselves witnessed and survived a disaster in their lifetime. Abundant research shows that disasters and recent traumatic events can trigger re-experiencing of previous traumas, which can be terribly disorienting to such individuals who can’t explain why something that happened in Haiti is bringing up these thoughts and feelings now. It is important for your hotline helpers to be aware of this phenomenon, in case they hear more of these types of complaints from the callers on your various hotlines.

Please feel free to consult and tell your hotline helpers about the Lifeline wallet card, “Tips for Disaster Survivors”, found on our Lifeline materials page of the web site: http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/Materials/Default.aspx

Another important resource for talking with individuals who are coping with traumatic events can be found on the CDC web site:
http://www.bt.cdc.gov/masscasualties/copingpub.asp

In the longer term, it is likely that the United States will see a significant influx of surviving Haitians over the coming months. A good number will likely be experiencing mental health issues, beyond the already challenging acculturation issues experienced by immigrants. Cities and states that already house a good number of Haitian immigrants will likely see more joining them. Here is a breakdown of current Haitian population distributions in the U.S.:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haitian immigration to the United States and Canada#New York City

Again, please see the message from Carolyn above and pass on to volunteers that you think might be able and willing to assist their local efforts in Miami.

Warm regards,

John Draper, Ph.D.
Project Director
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
T: (212) 614-6309
T: (212) 614-6357

National Suicide Prevention LifeLine
With Help Comes Hope
1-800-273-TALK
http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org
www.crisiscentersblog.com

If you are unable to download these sites, please copy and paste on your browser.

Live, Love and Laugh

Charlette Marie

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