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Federal grant to pay for mental health program for southeast Michigan residents affected by floods

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Dan Austin
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Example of flooded street in Detroit, July 16, 2021

Metro Detroiters still dealing with the ripple effects of last summer’s floods will so get some additional help.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is getting a $3.7 million grant from the federal government to address the mental health needs of southeast Michigan flood survivors.

“After a flood disaster, government assistance to rebuild your home or business is often not enough. Survivors also need emotional support to rebuild their lives and keep moving forward,” said Elizabeth Hertel, the state health department director.

The money comes in a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. It will set up what the government calls a Crisis Counseling Assistance and Training Program. The local program is called Tri-County Strong, and it will serve Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb County residents who were emotionally affected by the flood disaster.

The intent of the program is to reduce any post-disaster needs for more intense clinical behavioral health services.

The July flood was caused by heavy rains and worsened by aging infrastructure. It inundated roads and homes.

Experts said the heavy flooding took a toll on Michiganders already struggling because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This past year our region has struggled with natural disaster and the psychosocial toll and devastation that was left behind, in addition to the pandemic, which has contributed to stress and fears,” said Eric Doeh, president and CEO of the Detroit Wayne Integrated Health Network.

Grant funding for the program runs through early October.

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