OKLAHOMA CITY (May 5, 2020)— Governor Kevin Stitt announced today that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved another portion of his ongoing request for disaster assistance as part of the State of Oklahoma’s Major Disaster Declaration due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This approval makes funding available for crisis counseling, which will help support mental health initiatives designed to benefit individuals affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Crisis Counseling and Training Program is funded by FEMA in coordination with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). In Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (ODMHSAS) will manage the program through community-based outreach and educational services.
Previously, FEMA approved Governor Stitt’s request for public assistance funding for emergency protective measures, allowing impacted state agencies, municipalities and tribal nations in all 77 Oklahoma counties to be reimbursed by the federal government for 75 percent of the costs associated with their response and emergency protective measures.
Governor Stitt’s request to increase that reimbursement to 100 percent is still pending, along with a request for additional assistance to include disaster unemployment assistance, disaster legal services and other programs.
State authorities will continue to assess the need for additional federal disaster aid to cover further response and recovery costs.