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Those displaced from Hurricane Ida in Arkansas are eligible for free mental health services

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Arkansas – Those displaced from Hurricane Ida who came to Arkansas will be offered free mental health services knowing the fact what they experienced during this period.

“We’ve served about 1,200 people in the last year. It just so happens, we already have this available so why not help other people,” UAMS Program Manager, Tony Boaz said.

The program is completely free and those who might need help are not required to call and make a prior appointment.

“When you call in, we will have a nurse triage you to make sure there’s not an emergency. All urgent cases are accepted. They get on the intake schedule with us. We have about a 30-minute call and then they get scheduled with the therapist,” Boaz said.

The free mental medical services will be offered in the UAMS campus. UAMS Licensed Professional Counselor, Anita Rutledge said a common thing they see is the increase in stress.

“That can produce a number of responses in children and adults,” Rutledge said. “With that, an assessment is needed to determine how that person is functioning.”

In such situations, people are using more drugs for the stress and usually suffer from anxiety and depression.

Probably the most stressful thing for these people is the fact that they usually don’t have time to prepare well before leaving their homes. They usually lack drugs and medications, clothes and other staff they usually use on a daily basis.

“If we have a patient come in who has medication needs, we have a psychiatrist on staff who can help them,” Rutledge said.

If you want to take part, call 1-800-482-9921.

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