Organization ready to aid San Benito with career counseling service

SAN BENITO — Crisis counselor Leticia Chavez says Texans Recovering Together-RGV is now serving Cameron County and would serve San Benito when in need of help.

Last week, Chavez gave a brief presentation to the city commission about the career counseling service.

Also present were crisis counselors Erica Barrera and Nereyda Guerrero, who also participated and handed out emergency preparedness packets to the commissioners providing them with information regarding CCP.

CCP is intended to assist individuals and communities in recovering from the effects of natural and human-caused disasters.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency implements CCP as a supplemental assistance program available to the United States and its territories.

The Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act of 1974 authorizes FEMA to fund mental health assistance and training activities in areas which have been declared a disaster by the president.

The Center for Mental Health Services, Emergency Mental Health and Traumatic Stress Services Branch works with FEMA through an interagency agreement to provide technical assistance, consultation, and training for state and local mental health personnel, grant administration and program oversight.

For years, the program has served Hidalgo and Willacy counties. Just recently, the program has started to serve Cameron County.

Chavez and her team have been going to different low-income neighborhoods in hopes of offering their services and bringing awareness about the program.

The program is not limited to only assistance, but encourages education and disaster preparedness.

The educational group provides the community with information on various topics plus the assistance programs, Chavez said.

The program is made up of several health professionals who Chavez said want to make sure they have a safe and healthy community.

“We feel so blessed to be able to unite in force with the cities and serve the community,” Chavez said.

The CCP provides the following services to achieve its mission

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 Educational 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 reactions.

Public 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 need 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.

For more information on the group that assists individuals and communities recovering from the effects of natural and human-caused disasters call 956-250-3833.