By City News Service
A Culver City mental health provider has been awarded a grant to operate one of five government-supported national disaster distress helplines, it was announced Thursday.
The Suicide Prevention Center run by Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services was designated a "core region center" and will take calls and texts from anyone who experiences psychological distress as a result of natural or human- caused disasters.
"We are ready for this challenge," said Dr. Kita S. Curry, president and chief executive of Didi Hirsch. "Our Suicide Prevention Center has helped people through Hurricane Katrina, the Santa Monica Farmers' Market tragedy and so many other extremely tough moments. Thanks to this grant award, disaster relief will become a core part of Suicide Prevention Center's work."
The round-the-clock service, supported with a $75,000 grant, is funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and administered by Link2Health Solutions.
As soon as a disaster happens, trained staff from the Core Region Centers stand at the ready to answer calls made to (800) 985-5990; people can also text, using the keywords TalkWithUs or Hablanos, or by short code, 66746.
The network uses a "round robin" system to route calls so that they are distributed equally to all five centers in the network.