Nearly five months after Hurricane Maria upended life for everyone in its path, Puerto Rico remains in critical condition. Power has not been completely restored to the island—and some areas are not expected to have power until May. An estimated 200,000 people have left the island for Florida. Those that remain face a broken infrastructure, food shortages, power shortages, and unrelenting stress.
How you can help: One way counselors can help their colleagues in Puerto Rico is with a donation to the American Counseling Association Foundation. The foundation’s mini grants provide critical funding for an array of programs, including those in Puerto Rico. The American Counseling Association Foundation accepts online donations here.
Keep in mind that it’s important to support a relief program that is highly rated for its good work. Charity Navigator, one of the nation’s largest evaluators of philanthropic programs, offers a list of top-rated organizations providing relief in Puerto Rico and other areas affected by the hurricane. The list can be found online here.
For more information:
A Feb. 8 New York Times podcast provides a snapshot of Puerto Rico’s ongoing mental health crisis with a look at the island’s only suicide prevention hotline.
A Feb. 6 PBS News Hour segment examines the consequences for Puerto Rico’s education system and checks in with one of the 25,000 students who left the island for the mainland.