"The Crisis Counseling Program, as it has been supported in the past twenty-five years by the Federal government, provides for short-term interventions with individuals and groups experiencing psychological sequelae from Presidentially-declared disasters. This type of intervention involves classic counseling goals of helping people to understand their current situation and reactions, assisting in the review of their options, providing emotional support, and encouraging linkage with other resources and agencies who may assist the individual. The assistance is focused upon helping the person deal with the current situation in which they may find themselves. It draws upon the assumption, until there are contradictory indications, that the individual can resume a productive and fulfilling life following the disaster experience if given support, assistance, and information at a time and in a manner appropriate to his or her experience, education, developmental stage, and ethnicity (CMHS, 1994). The Crisis Counseling Program is unique in comparison to the mix of Federal programs made available through a Presidential disaster declaration. It is the one program for which virtually anyone qualifies and where the person affected by disaster does not have to recall numbers, estimate damages, or otherwise justify need. The program provides primary assistance in dealing with the emotional sequelae to disaster."
DHHS Pub. No. SMA 99-3378
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: Disaster Relief Information: http://www.mentalhealth.samhsa.gov/disasterrelief