Representatives from the New Jersey Hope and Healing initiative began helping Superstorm Sandy victims cope with the aftermath of the storm on Wednesday, Feb. 27, and more than 200 victims had stopped by as of early afternoon, Atlantic County spokesperson Linda Gilmore said.
"Today was the first day and things went well," Gilmore said in an email. "They have a table set up in our atrium, and more than 200 people had already stopped by as of early afternoon."
Representatives are available at the Atlantic County Office Building at 1333 Atlantic Avenue in Atlantic City. They will be on hand, Monday-Friday, from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. The service is free and no appointment is necessary, Gilmore said.
"Traumatic events such as Superstorm Sandy affect people in many different ways," Gilmore said. "After the tragedy, adults and children may feel extremely upset, stressed or depressed. It is especially important for those who experience severe emotional reactions to seek professional guidance."
The New Jersey Hope and Healing initiative includes the New Jersey Disaster Mental Health Helpline which individuals may call, toll free, for confidential mental health information and referral, representatives said. The phone number is 1-877-294-HELP (4357) and TTY: 877-294-4356.
The phones are answered by trained counselors who may assist anyone experiencing anxiety or depression, according to representatives.