August 15, 2011

State of Alabama
Press Release: Mental Health, Department of

Coaches Nick Saban and Gene Chizik to be Spokespersons for Project Rebound

State’s initiative for tornado counseling and resources

MONTGOMERY – NCAA National Championship Coach Nick Saban (‘09) and NCAA National Championship Coach Gene Chizik (‘10) have agreed to be spokespersons for Project Rebound. Project Rebound serves people directly or indirectly impacted by a disaster by dispatching teams of trained crisis counselors into affected communities. It also includes a 24/7 Call Center with trained crisis counselors on the line. Project Rebound’s response to the tornado outbreak consists of more than 200 trained crisis counselors in the field. Additionally, Alabamians from all 43 counties designated for disaster assistance can access Project Rebound services through the Call Center.

Alabama Department of Mental Health Commissioner Zelia Baugh said, “Teams will literally come to you…we’ll meet you at home, school, community center or local coffee shop. We help people with practical matters including referring them to resources for rebuilding and coping with serious emotional issues such as grief or trauma. As part of the Governor’s overall commitment to disaster relief, we are delighted that Coach Saban and Coach Chizik have teamed up to help us reach out to hurting people.”

The Alabama and Auburn coaches’ message will be delivered through radio, TV and print media outlets and social media, as well as posters and brochures placed around local communities. The Project Rebound message “We’re all in this together” echoes sentiments that both coaches have expressed, setting aside the school rivalries and having one spirit regarding disaster relief. Their participation is expected to encourage people affected by disasters to be more receptive to Project Rebound teams in the field or to call the 1-800-639-REBOUND number for assistance.

Complementing survivor’s existing support systems, Project Rebound acts as a one-stop-shop for referrals. The Alabama Department of Mental Health initiated Project Rebound to provide relief and assistance in the aftermath of a disaster in partnership with Governor Bentley’s Long-Term Recovery Partners as well as other government agencies and community organizations that serve as resources for tornado victims. All services are free and confidential. The Web site www.projectrebound.org has resources for a variety of audiences including parents, teachers and older adults.

Project Rebound began after Hurricane Ivan, returned after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and also returned after a tornado devastated the Enterprise community. It was reactivated to help victims of the Gulf Coast oil spill. Once again it has been reactivated to provide long-term assistance to victims of the April 2011 tornado outbreak.

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  • For more information, visit http://mh.alabama.gov
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