DEPARTMENT OF MENTAL HEALTH
For Immediate Release: October 12, 2023
Alex Frantz, Communications Director
Vermont Department of Mental Health
DMH Launches ‘Starting Over Strong Vermont’ Flood Relief Program
Empowering Vermonters with Resources for Rebuilding and Recovery
Waterbury, VT – The Vermont Department of Mental Health is proud to announce Starting Over Strong Vermont, a flood recovery outreach program developed in direct response to the major disaster declaration for the flooding events that significantly impacted many Vermonters in July of this year.
The program aids Vermonters living in the nine counties approved to receive FEMA Individual Assistance across the state. Created to provide essential support services during times of crisis, Starting Over Strong Vermont operates through trained outreach workers who offer strengths-based, short-term assistance. This assistance, which is both anonymous and offered free of charge, aims to help individuals discover and access existing community support systems and resources.
"Starting Over Strong Vermont embodies our dedication to showing up for our communities when they need it most and serves as a reminder of the resilience that each of us, as Vermonters, possesses." Said Department of Mental Health Commissioner Emily Hawes. “While we can't always predict when these challenges will surface, our goal is to make sure folks have the support they need to prioritize their mental well-being so we can come back stronger together when disasters do occur.”
Starting Over Strong Vermont outreach workers provide assistance tailored to individuals impacted by disasters’ unique needs. These outreach efforts encompass a range of approaches, including conducting door-to-door visits in targeted areas and establishing information booths at events and high-traffic locations. Outreach workers can also arrange in-person sessions with both groups and individuals. These sessions provide safe and supportive environments for individuals affected by flooding to connect while gaining information on stress management and effective coping strategies.
To be connected to a Starting Over Strong Vermont outreach worker, individuals in the nine counties impacted by the flood and its aftermath can contact Vermont 2-1-1. In addition to dialing 211, Vermont 211 can also be reached at: 866-652-4636 or 802-652-4636. For comprehensive information on Starting Over Strong Vermont services and service providers, please visit the Department of Mental Health Starting Over Strong Vermont Webpage:
About the Department of Mental Health
Vermont Department of Mental Health (DMH) has a critical mission to improve the conditions and well-being of all Vermonters across the state and protect those who cannot protect themselves.