Oil Spill Update
Television PSA Features Surgeon General
To support families and individuals
affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil
spill, SAMHSA in collaboration with the
Ad Council has created a new campaign
designed to raise awareness of the early
warning signs of serious emotional distress.
The goal of the campaign is to expand
mental health awareness efforts and
to support families and individuals.
Emotional distress resulting from
traumatic events can surface years after
an incident such as this occurs.
A television public service
announcement (PSA), featuring Surgeon
General Regina Benjamin, M.D., M.B.A., aims to help
those living in the Gulf states to get
the assistance they may need to treat and
alleviate long-term psychological distress.
“For many who live on the Gulf Coast,
this disaster has affected us very deeply,”
said Dr. Benjamin. “We want anyone who
is feeling distressed to know that getting
help can be as simple as making a phone
call or sending a text message.”
Other PSAs include radio and
outdoor billboards and support the
campaign’s goal to provide access to free
resources to those affected in the Gulf
states region. The PSAs direct adult,
Hispanic, and teen audiences to call
a toll-free number (1-800-985-5990)
or text TALKWITHUS to 66746 for a
safe, confidential way to receive free
counseling, information, and support
from trained professionals. (Standard
text messaging and data rates apply.)
The toll-free Oil Spill Distress
Helpline, funded by SAMHSA, links
callers to local crisis centers, where local
and trained professionals answer the
calls and provide confidential assistance.
Creole and Spanish-language operators
are also available.
Find out more information on the campaign
Ad Council is a nonprofit organization
that encourages volunteer talent from the
advertising and media industries to deliver
critical messages to the American public.
Listen to the radio PSAs.
(Spoken by Surgeon General Regina Benjamin)
The BP Gulf oil spill has caused tremendous damage in the Gulf region. A lot
of energy and resources have been spent to clean up the ecological and
This tragedy caused emotional turmoil and stress to those living in the area.
Some individuals can have strong feelings of increased anxiety, worry and even
anger. However there is help available through the Oil Spill Distress Hotline.
Just call 1-800-985-5990 for a safe, confidential way to receive free counseling.
Or, if you prefer, you can text TALKWITHUS to 66746. Whether you prefer to
talk or text, you should know that assistance is available to help you cope. We
are working to restore the environment. Now let’s work to help restore hope,
confidence, and peace of mind.