GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Hurricane season is here, and state and local leaders want to make sure they are prepared for disasters — and how they impact mental health. 

“Right now, we’re putting resources in place and starting to launch programs in the schools and in the communities to start working with residents on steps they can take to prepare,” said Dr.Loni Crumb, ECU Assistant ProfessorCounselor Education Program.

East Carolina University is getting more than $900,000 from The U-s Department of Health and Human Services and its substance abuse and mental health services administration. 

This Money Will Boost the mental health services In Jones, Lenoir, And Beaufort counties. 

“Our grant has three main services. We provide school-based mental health services where we will provide disaster, mental health counseling in schools to supplement mental health professionals that are already working in these three counties,” Crumb said.  

Dr. Loni Crumb knows getting through a hurricane and the recovery process is not easy.  

“Those things can lead to an extreme amount of stress, anxiety and when it happens over and over every hurricane season it can even lead to depression, just a sense of hopelessness unless there are some help and assistance,” said Crumb.  

The program is designed to last for 18-months offering school-based mental health services, workforce development training, and consultation services for all age groups.  

“We’ll work with K-12 students and their parents to build their resource networks to get prepared if they should experience hurricanes. The second part of the grant is workforce development training and will implement training to teach others in the community about hurricanes,” Crumb added.  

The grant is originally designed for hurricane disaster relief, but it will be used to help people through more than just storms. 

“We are now facing a lot of concerns related to the current health crisis such as separation from loved ones, constraint finances, dealing with school disruptions and schedules. They all contribute to stress and anxiety. We’ll be there to address all of these matters with youth and community members in those counties,” Crumb said.