JERSEY CITY, N.J. January 29, 2013 – For those lives still turned upside, down from Hurricane Sandy, help in the form of crisis counseling referrals will be available to the public at the Jersey City Free Public Library.
Starting on Thursday, January 31, a table will be set up on the staircase landing of the first floor lobby in the Main Library, offering information referrals for anyone in need of emotional or psychological counseling, and for other types of stress management referrals so necessary in the wake of surviving a disaster.
The Mental Health Association of NJ will staff the information referral table during Regular hours of the Main Library, 472 Jersey Avenue, for a period of 60 days, from Thursday, January 31 to Saturday, April 13. The Main Library is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Of course, table staffing will not be available when the library system is closed for holidays (Presidents’ Day, February 18; Good Friday, March 29; and Saturday, March 30).
The Mental Health Association of NJ has been working in conjunction with 40-plus other crisis counselors in Hudson and Bergen County on a project called the New Jersey Hope and Healing Campaign. They have been providing emotional and psychological support for those impacted by Hurricane Sandy, including helping those affected through educating them about disasters, exploring strategies and techniques for managing stress and anxiety, and just being present to listen and help them navigate through the maze of issues they may still face.
In addition to direct crisis counseling work, the Mental Health Association of NJ also provides linkage/referral services to Case Management, Disaster Recovery Centers, FEMA phone numbers, shelters, food services, and low cost contractors in the Hudson County area to help with repairs. All of the services provided by its crisis counselors are free.
With FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers in the area gradually closing down, including the Montgomer
Street center, there are still many residents dealing with storm damage and struggling both financially, as well as psychologically and emotionally. The Mental Health Association of NJ has both English and Spanish crisis counselors available.
“There is no way around it, a flooding crisis breeds stress. Believe me, I know,” said Library Director Priscilla Gardner, who oversaw $1.4 million in flood damage from Hurricane Sandy that affected the basement of the Main Library. The Library Director made sure that staff and patrons were protected, with a closure of the Main Library on Friday, November 9, after only being opened for one-and-a-half days from the initial storm closure. Working from the Cunningham Branch, Director Gardner contacted appropriate contractors for bids. After going through two rounds, one contractor was awarded the full remediation project. The Library Director would not leave for her Christmas holiday unless the Main Library could be opened, which finally happened on Monday, December 17.
For the latest on programs, events, and special announcements please follow the Library on Facebook or Twitter at Jersey City Free Public Library. Visit us on the web at www.jclibrary.org for all information on the Library, including all press releases in The Press Room. As of yesterday, January 28, 2013, the Jersey City Free Public Library has 223,194 valid card members.