In an effort to broaden our reach to disaster survivors and emergency responders, the Disaster Distress Helpline is developing online peer support communities though “Facebook Groups” for those who have experienced a natural or human-caused disaster. These online communities will offer opportunities for survivors and responders to connect with others who have experienced similar events, share accurate information and trusted resources, and help one another continue to heal from the effects of a traumatic event.

What Will it Offer?

The purpose of the DDH Peer Support Communities will be to create enhanced opportunities for survivors and responders of disaster to come together for mutual aid and emotional support.

DDH Online Peer Support Communities Will Also Include:

Trained Peer Supporters

DDH Online Peer Support through Facebook Groups will include trained peer supporters who will assist in moderating the groups and vetting resources. In addition to community forums, our goal is also to create purposeful, moderated groups lead by peer supporters with specific themes and relevant topics. While each survivor and responder’s experiences are unique, being with peers who have had a similar experience can promote connection, offer new ways of coping, and build a foundation of trust.

Peer support does not take the place of therapy or counseling. The opportunity to provide mutual aid and support to others who have faced similar challenges, when and where they need it, offers hope that healing and recovery is possible.

Immediate Crisis Support

Community members experiencing distress or other mental health concerns related to disaster will have access to immediate crisis counseling via connecting, in real time and 24/7/365, with trained counselors from a designated crisis center.

First Peer Group Dedicated to Healthcare Workers Impacted by COVID-19

The first community welcomes healthcare workers impacted by COVID-19 to come together for mutual aid, to share trusted resources, and to help one another continue to heal from the effects of a national pandemic. Healthcare workers may include any worker in the medical community (e.g. hospital personnel, emergency responders, nursing professionals, physicians, behavioral and medical health care providers). To join our group dedicated to Healthcare Workers Impacted by COVID-19, click here.

COMING SOON: Communities for Parents & Caregivers of Children and Youth Impacted by Covid, and Survivors of Mass Shootings

To learn more about current job openings at Vibrant Emotional Health for DDH Online Peer Supporters, please see the following opportunities below:

For Parents and Caregivers of children and Youth 18 years old or younger impacted the COVID-19 pandemic: Parents and Caregivers For Survivors and Responders of mass shootings in the Unites States: Survivor and Responders of mass shootings.

Disaster Distress Helpline 24/7 Support

If you or someone you care for is experiencing distress or other mental health concerns related to disaster, call OR text the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990. Counselors are available 24/7/365 and can listen to what’s on your mind, explore available coping supports, and offer information on community resources for follow-up care and support.