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Texas Association of Addiction Professionals
Dallas Chapter
Dear Dallas TAAP Members,

It was great to see each of you at our meeting last Wednesday!  At the meeting, we shared about an excellent opportunity for our outstanding members of Dallas TAAP to serve those affected by Hurricane Harvey.  Over 2000 displaced Houston residents are temporarily staying at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, or "Mega Shelter".  Janie Metzinger serves as the Public Policy Director for Mental Health America of Greater Dallas, and is coordinating mental health volunteers serving at this site.  Janie has called for volunteers to serve these fellow Texans.  Would you please read the following email from Janie and consider volunteering in one of the outlined roles.  When considering the possibility of serving, please note the very important instructions to IDENTIFY ONLY THE DAYS AND TIMES THAT YOU WOULD BE WILLING TO SERVE.  YOU WILL MOST LIKELY BE ASSIGNED TO ALL THE DAYS AND TIMES THAT YOU INDICATE AVAILABILITY!  Dallas TAAP is proud to serve those in our city, and the greater community of Texas.  Thank you in advance for being willing to care for these neighbors of Houston and south Texas!

On a separate note, we are very saddened by the news of the death of Shannon Purtell's father.  Shannon is a great friend and colleague.  Please keep Shannon and her family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. 

Respectfully and Gratefully,


Gary Cochran, MA, LPC-S
President - Dallas TAAP


Licensed mental health professionals are needed to assist with the behavioral health response to assist approximately 2000 guests from the Texas coast in the Hurricane Harvey shelter at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center. 
 
If you are able to serve, please read the following carefully.
 
There is a general medical unit set up that includes primary care and higher levels of care and specialties, including behavioral health.  The behavioral health operation has several components to provide a continuum of care for the guests at the shelter:
*a psychiatric triage unit that includes a Psych ER (Dr. Frank Webster and Dr. Art Mirzatuny are very ably leading that, recruiting only psychiatrists who are experienced in emergency psychiatry).
*Transicare provides transport to voluntary inpatient hospitalization if needed, and transportation to Methadone services if needed.
*a pharmacy (Wal-Mart has that set up).
*a mental health outpatient clinic (North Texas Behavioral Health Authority is in charge of that, led by Jennifer Torres and Jessica Martinez from Metrocare).
*Trauma-trained mental health professionals, certified Psychological First Aid, Mental Health First Aid and Peer Recovery Specialists volunteer to mingle with the shelter guests to see how they are doing, use de-escalation techniques if they encounter a guest in distress or crisis, and connect them with the higher levels of professional care on site.  Dave Hogan with the City of Dallas Crisis Intervention Team, Jennifer Torres and Jessica Martinez from Metrocare are supervising those volunteers.  Libby Kay from UT Southwestern is helping too.  Volunteers are asked to serve in the dormitory area as a 'listening ear' for the disaster survivors.  These volunteers are not expected to provide therapy or formal counseling sessions.
*Substance use disorder peer services.
*There is also a need for Trauma-trained and EMDR certified mental health professionals to help especially in the overnight hours for guests exhibiting signs of trauma.
 
To protect the security of our guests, there is a strict scheduling credentialing process for all volunteers.  
 
To volunteer, please send an e-mail to Janie Metzinger at JMetzinger@mhadallas.org
 
Please send a list of exactly the days and times over the next three weeks that you are committed to serve at the shelter.  You will most likely be put on the schedule for all   the dates and times that you request, and will be sent a confirmation with additional information on where to pick up your entry badge.
 
If you have any questions, please send an e-mail to me at JMetzinger@mhadallas.org or  call me at (214) 404-3976 (cell) or (214) 871-2420, Ext. 114 .
 
Sincerely,
Janie Metzinger
Public Policy Director
Mental Health America of Greater Dallas
Office Telephone:  (214) 871-2420, Ext. 114
Cell or Text:  (214) 404-3976



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