About Project Recovery
The Crisis Counseling Assistance and Training Program (commonly referred to
as the Crisis Counseling Program or CCP) is funded by the Federal Emergency
Management Agency (FEMA) through the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and
Emergency Assistance Act. Crisis counseling programs aim to meet the
short-term mental health needs of affected communities through counseling
program, outreach, public education, training, and referral. The crisis
counseling program has provided brief mental health services to millions of
disaster survivors since its inception and has become an important model for
response to a variety of catastrophic events.
The CCP is a partnership between FEMA and the Substance Abuse and Mental
Health Services (SAMHSA) Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS). CMHS
provides states with consultation and assistance in implementing the program.
The Disaster Technical Assistance Center (DTAC) provides technical assistance
throughout the phases of disaster recovery.
The mission of the CCP is to assist individuals and communities in recovering
from the effects of natural and human-caused disasters through the provision
of community-based outreach and psycho-educational services. The CCP supports
short-term interventions that involve the counseling goals of assisting
disaster survivors in understanding their current situation and reactions,
mitigating stress, assisting survivors in reviewing their disaster recovery
options, promoting the use or development of coping strategies, providing
emotional support, and encouraging linkages with other individuals and
agencies who may help survivors in their recovery process (recovery to their
pre-disaster level of functioning).
The goal of Project Recovery is to provide support and information as well as empower people to regain control of their lives. Crisis counseling helps disaster survivors recognize normal stress reactions.
- Strengths Based: CCP services promote resilience, empowerment, and
- Anonymous: Crisis counselors do not classify, label, or diagnose
people; no records or case files are kept.
- Outreach Oriented: Crisis counselors deliver services in the
communities rather than wait for survivors to seek their assistance.
- Conducted in Nontraditional Settings: Crisis counselors make contact
in homes and communities, not in clinical or office settings.
- Designed to Strengthen Existing Community Support Systems: The CCP
supplements, but does not supplant or replace, existing community systems.
- Individual Crisis Counseling: Helps survivors understand their
reactions, improve coping strategies, review their options, and connect with
other individuals and agencies that may assist them.
- Basic Supportive or Education Contact: General support and
information on resources and services available to disaster survivors.
- Group Crisis Counseling: Group sessions led by trained crisis
counselors who offer skills to help survivors cope with their situations and
- Education: Information and education about typical reactions,
helpful coping strategies, and available disaster-related resources.
- Community Networking and Support: Relationship building with
community resource organizations, faith-based groups, and local agencies.
- Assessment, Referral, and Resource Linkage: Adult and child needs
assessment and referral to additional disaster relief services or mental
health or substance abuse treatment.
- Development and Distribution of Educational Materials: Flyers,
brochures, tip sheets, educational materials, and Web site information
developed and distributed by CCP staff.
- Media and Public Service Announcements: Media activities and public
messaging in partnership with local media outlets, State and local
governments, charitable organizations, or other community brokers.
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