Governor Robert Bentley today announced the participation of Alabama Coach Nick Saban and Auburn Coach Gene Chizik as spokespersons for Project Rebound, the state's mental health initiative for tornado counseling and resources for individuals dealing with the aftermath of the April tornado outbreak. The media campaign featuring public service announcements with the two coaches will begin airing this week.
The Alabama Department of Mental Health initiated Project Rebound to provide relief and assistance in the aftermath of a disaster in partnership with community mental health organizations. Originally initiated after Hurricane Ivan in 2004, Project Rebound has been used after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the tornado that devastated the Enterprise community in 2007, and the Gulf Coast oil spill of 2010. After the April tornados destroyed many parts of the state, Project Rebound has been reactivated to help survivors identify and express their emotions, adjust to life after the disaster and regain a sense of control as they begin to rebuild their life.
"Project Rebound is a great program to help those having trouble moving on from the tornados of April," said Governor Robert Bentley. "The emotional toll of the natural disaster is one that must be addressed in order for individuals to fully recover. I appreciate Coaches Saban and Chizik for lending their voice to help get the message out regarding Project Rebound."
Mental Health Commissioner Zelia Baugh commented that Project Rebound helps partner with the Governor's Long-Term Community Recovery Task Force to provide assistance.
"Project Rebound will help with practical matters including referring individuals to resources for rebuilding and coping with serious emotional issues such as grief or trauma," said Commissioner Baugh. "As part of Governor Bentley's overall commitment to disaster relief, the Department of Mental Health is delighted that Coach Saban and Coach Chizik have teamed up to help us reach out to hurting people and offer services to aid in the recovery process."
Project Rebound serves people directly or indirectly impacted by a disaster by dispatching teams of trained crisis counselors into tornado affected communities in Alabama and by operating a 24/7 Call Center at 1-800-639-REBOUND with trained counselors on the line. All services are free and confidential to callers.
Alabamians from all 43 federally declared disaster areas can access Project Rebound through the Call Center. Project Rebound counselors have already received over 45,000 contacts from individuals directly or indirectly affected by the storms.