By BETHANY BLANKLEY
THE CENTER SQUARE CONTRIBUTOR
(The Center Square) — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a disaster declaration for the city of Uvalde after the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School. He also allocated $5 million to establish a long-term Family Resiliency Center to provide a range of mental health resources to residents of the entire county.
The disaster declaration accelerates all available state and local resources to assist the Uvalde community. It also suspends regulations that would prevent, hinder or delay necessary action in coping with the aftermath of the shooting.
“The community of Uvalde has been left devastated by last week’s senseless act of violence at Robb Elementary School and should not have to encounter any difficulty in receiving the support needed to heal,” the governor said in a statement.
The disaster declaration “frees up the many resources available through the state of Texas and local jurisdictions to continue providing much needed support to all who were impacted and work in the community,” he said. “All of Texas stands with Uvalde, and we are prepared to provide support through all available means.”
Multiple state agencies are providing a range of support and services. Uvalde residents seeking state mental health resources can receive assistance through a hotline, 888-690-0799. It’s open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The Family Assistance Center is providing information, support and resources to the family members of the deceased, those suffering physical and emotional injuries, Robb Elementary School faculty, staff, students and others directly impacted by the shooting.
Additionally, an initial $5 million has been allocated to establish a long-term Family Resiliency Center in Uvalde County. The FRC will serve as a hub for community services and include psychological first aid, crisis counseling, and behavioral health services for survivors and first responders. It will also be helping community members experiencing vicarious trauma, including school-based mental health services for students and staff.
The center “will play an integral role in our mission to ensure those in mourning and healing following last week’s tragedy have easily accessible and readily available resources,” Gov. Abbott said. “Every member of the Uvalde community will have access to the critical mental health resources they need at this center as they process and heal during this difficult time.”