Get help with mental health issues

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Feelings of emotional distress are common reactions after disasters like wildfires, and there are resources where you can get help. According to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), "Feelings such as overwhelming anxiety, constant worrying, trouble sleeping, and other depression-like symptoms are common responses before, during, and after wildfires."

Disaster Distress Helpline
24/7 Crisis Counseling 1-800-985-5990 (Press 2 for Spanish)
Text TalkWithUs to 66746
Text Hablanos to 66746 (for Spanish)
TTY 1-800-846-8517
Find crisis counseling and support for people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters.

You don't have to be directly affected by the wildfire to be in distress. Here are some tips from American Psychological Association:

  • Take a news break. Watching endless replays of footage from the fires can make your stress even greater. Although you'll want to keep informed - especially if you have loved ones affected by the disasters - take a break from watching the news.

  • Be kind to yourself. Some feelings when witnessing a disaster may be difficult for you to accept. You may feel relief that the disaster did not touch you, or you may feel guilt that you were left untouched when so many were affected. Both feelings are common.

  • Keep things in perspective. Although a disaster often is horrifying, remember to focus as well on the things that are good in your life.

  • Find a productive way to help if you can. Many organizations are set up to provide financial or other aid to victims of natural disasters. Contributing or volunteering can be a way to gain a sense of "control" over the event.

  • Look for opportunities for self-discovery and recognize your strengths. People often learn something about themselves and may find that they have grown in some respect as a result of persevering through hardship. Many people who have experienced tragedy and adversity have reported later on better relationships and greater sense of personal strength.


  • How to Talk to Children After a Wildfire:
    From National Child Traumatic Stress Network:
    - Model being calm and hopeful after the wildfire.
    - Provide accurate information and answer questions honestly and at an appropriate developmental level.
    - Be patient when responding to changes in behavior.
    - Provide reassurance, a daily routine, and structure.
    - Pay attention to their own well-being and coping.

    Click here for Tips for parents of school-age children

    Click here for Tips for parents of teens

    If you know your power will be shut off during the PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoff, here are some ideas on how to keep your kids busy:

    Click here for Activities in the dark

    Click here for Daytime Activities for kids evacuated from homes or without power

    More tips are available from The National Child Traumatic Stress Network.

    According to National Association of Mental Illness (NAMI): Mental illness affects everyone. Nearly 60 million Americans experience a mental health condition every year. Regardless of race, age, religion or economic status, mental illness impacts the lives of at least one in four adults and one in 10 children across the United States.

    OK2Talk
    Need to talk? 1-800-273-TALK (8256)
    Living with mental illness may sometimes leave you feeling hopeless and alone. Often, you may not know what's wrong or you may even feel like you've done something wrong. Even when you do understand what's happening, you may find it hard to talk about what you're going through with friends and family. The stigma associated with having a mental illness often makes it hard to talk openly about your feelings and experiences. We want you to know that help is available.

    National Alliance on Mental Illness
    NAMI is the nation's largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.
    Call the NAMI Helpline: 1-800-950-6264
    In a Crisis? Text NAMI to 741741

    California Coalition for Youth
    24-HOUR CRISIS HOTLINE FOR TEENS 12-24: 1-800-843-5200
    If you are a teen or young adult experiencing emotional trauma, or are feeling any stress, anger, or any other problem, the California Coalition for youth has both a 24 hour hotline as well as a chat service if you prefer to communicate via text. CA Coalition is committed to connecting youth to mental health services that work for them.
    Email: info@calyouth.org

    Daly City Youth Health Services: Free mental health clinic
    DCYHS is committed to making sure mental health is accessible to some of the people who need it the most- teens and youth. They provide counseling for abuse, addiction, anxiety, trouble with peers/teachers, even if you just need someone to talk to.

    If you or a loved one are dealing with mental health issues or suicidal thoughts, here are some organizations that offer help and hope.

    TAKE ACTION: What to do if you suspect someone is suicidal

    And this list will keep growing, so if you know of a resource we've missed, scroll to to the bottom of this page to make a suggestion.

    If you're looking for help with bullying or teen mental health, click here for a list of resources.

    Crisis Hotlines

    Napa County: Mental Health Crisis Services
    24 Hour Mental Health Crisis Hotline: (707) 253-4711
    Youth Crisis Hotline: 1-800-843-5200

    Sonoma County Department of Health Services: Suicide Prevention
    North Bay Suicide Prevention hotline is a toll-free, confidential 24/7 suicide prevention hotline (1-855-587-6373)
    24 Hour Emergency Mental Health Hotline: (800) 746-8181.




    Grief Resources for Children & Teens

    Kara: Grief Support for Children, Teens, Families & Adults
    Kara provides comprehensive grief support, crisis intervention and education to individuals and communities facing the difficult realities of grief and loss.
    Call for services: (650) 321-5272

    The Dougy Center: Help for Grieving Teens
    The Dougy Center provides a safe place for children, teens, young adults and their families who are grieving a death to share their experiences. They offer peer support groups, education, and training.
    Crisis Text Line: text CONNECTto 741741

    Teen Grief: Coping with the Loss of a Loved One
    Hospice of the Valley offers a booklet and online videos specifically created for teens and adults who care about them.
    Call for services: (602) 530-6900

    The Coalition to Support Grieving Students
    A resource designed for educators with the information, insights, and practical advice they need to better understand and meet the needs of the millions of grieving kids in America's classrooms.
    Call for services: 1-877-53-NCSCB (1-877-536-2722)

    National Association of School Psychologists: Addressing Student Grief
    NASP offers these facts and tips for youth coping with traumatic or unsettling times.

    National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement
    NCSCB at the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work is dedicated to helping schools support their students through crisis and loss. NCSCB offers crisis response, education and training, and advocacy and research.
    Crisis Hotline: 1-877-53-NCSCB (1-877-536-2722)

    UCSF Health: Bereavement Resources and Services
    National and Bay Area grief support for children, teens, adults, and families.
    Various phone numbers in list

    National Alliance for Grieving Children: California Programs
    NAGC raises awareness about the needs of children and teens who are grieving a death and provides education and resources for anyone who supports them.
    This is a statewide directory of resources and camps

    Local Mental Health Resources

    National Alliance on Mental Illness: Sonoma County
    WARMLINE (866-906-6264) Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

    County Mental Health Plan Contact List
    From the California Department of Health Care Services, look for your county to get a 1-800 service number to reach your local Mental Health Plan.

    MHP Contact List - California Department of Health Care
    County Mental Health Plan Phone Number(s) Alameda (and City of Berkeley) (800) 491-9099: Alpine (800) 318-8212: Amador (888) 310-6555: Butte (800) 334-6622

    Crisis Support Services of Alameda County
    24-hour Crisis Line: 1-800-309-2131
    Text SAFE TO 20121: Hours: 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.
    Support Groups contact Clinical Director: Devah DeFusco, LMFT 510-420-2475
    Counseling Services Program: 1-800-260-0094

    Family Service Agency of Marin: Suicide Prevention and Community Counseling
    24/7 Suicide Hotline: (415) 499-1100
    24/7 Grief Counseling: (415) 499-1195
    To make an appointment call: (415) 491-5700
    Email: fsa@fsamarin.org




    Contra Costa Crisis Center
    Crisis and Suicide: 800-833-2900
    Crisis Text: text "HOPE" to 20121
    M-F 3 p.m. to 11 p.m.
    Grief: 800-837-1818

    San Francisco Suicide Prevention
    24- hour San Francisco Comprehensive Child Crisis Line: 415-970-3800
    24-Hour Crisis Line: 415-781-0500 or 800-273-8255
    Email: Youth@sfsuicide.org

    Sonoma County Crisis Stabilization Unit
    Phone: 1-800-746-8181

    Suicide Prevention Resource Center
    The nation's only federally supported resource center devoted to advancing the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention. SPRC provides technical assistance, training, and materials to increase the knowledge and expertise of suicide prevention practitioners and other professionals serving people at risk for suicide. Phone: (415) 921-8850

    Star Vista
    Mental health services organization serving San Mateo County.
    24/7 hotline: 650-579-0350
    Text: "BAY" to 741741
    Phone (650) 591-9623
    Email: info@star-vista.org




    Santa Clara County Behavioral Health Services
    Phone: 1(800)704-0900
    Suicide and Crisis Hotline 24/7: 1(855)278-4204

    National Mental Health Resources

    National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
    1-800-273-8255

    American Foundation For Suicide Prevention
    1-800-273-TALK (8255)

    Give An Hour
    Develops national networks of volunteers capable of responding to both acute and chronic conditions that arise within our society. Current services available for U.S. troops and families as well as those affected by a natural disaster or man-made trauma.

    The Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress (CSTS)
    One of the nation's oldest and most highly regarded, academic-based organizations dedicated to advancing trauma-informed knowledge, leadership and methodologies. They have multiple resources, facts sheets, and education and training programs

    Out of the Darkness Walks
    When you walk in the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's Out of the Darkness Walks, you join efforts with thousands of people nationwide to raise money for AFSP's vital research and education programs to prevent suicide and save lives.

    Click here for a look at other ways you can Take Action where you live.
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