HARTFORD — Displaced children and families of Hurricane Maria will now have access to mental health support services in Connecticut.
Thanks to a $750,000 federal grant released by the Department of Health and Human Services to help those who were evacuated from their homes in Puerto Rico in last September’s hurricane.
About 135,000 people evacuated Puerto Rico to the mainland in the first six months after the hurricane. And about 10 percent, or 13,500, relocated to Connecticut, according to the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College.
The grant will be administered by the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services and the Department of Children and Families in Hartford, New Haven, Bridgeport, Waterbury and New Britain. The services will include mobile crisis, outpatient counseling, medication management and school outreach.
“Many of the children and families who were evacuated to Connecticut after Hurricane Maria experienced severe trauma, enduring the powerful storm itself, the devastation of losing their homes and then having to acculturate to a new community,” DMHAS Commissioner Miriam Delphin-Rittmon said. “ We know that addressing trauma early leads to improved mental health outcomes, so providing this support is critical in ensuring families will thrive.”