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Mental health professionals, building inspectors deployed to Puerto Rico following earthquakes

Posted at 4:17 PM, Feb 02, 2020

NEW YORK (WKBW) — New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Sunday New York State will send mental health professionals and building inspectors to Puerto Rico to assist in recovery efforts following a string of earthquakes.

26 bilingual mental health professionals will provide support to trauma-impacted residents.

25 state building inspectors will conduct damage and code assessments.

"While the federal administration has turned its back on Puerto Rico, New York is continuing to step up to extend a helping hand," said Cuomo. "The people of Puerto Rico are suffering and they still need our help. This deployment of mental health professionals and experts on the structural assessment team will help ensure the safety of our brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico and help them cope as they rebuild and restore their lives."

The group of 51 will leave for Puerto Rico on February 3rd, the trip will last 14 days.

"Natural disasters cause great stress and confusion for families and individuals and can lead to or exacerbate depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder," said Dr. Ann Sullivan Office of Mental Health Commissioner. "The people of Puerto Rico have experienced so much devastation in recent months and will benefit greatly from the expertise of the bilingual mental health professionals arriving on the island Monday. Governor Cuomo has once again demonstrated a strong commitment to assisting and supporting our most vulnerable citizens."