9-11 Healing and Remembrance: mental health resources
Dear MIWatch readers, The Mental Health Association of NYC (MHA-NYC) and its partners have launched a unique mental health program to assist the 9-11 affected community as they travel and participate in the 10th anniversary commemorative activities. Little is known about the mental health needs of victims ten years after a large scale traumatic event. The Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime have provided a grant that allows for mental health supports for those affected by 9-11 in... []
Oil spill czar minimizes mental health impact
. . .trivializes anguish []
Trauma with Australia's fires
Anxiety Insights reports that the Australian Psychological Society alerted clinicians and survivors of Australia's fires to watch for signs of trauma including PTSD.... []
Katrina damage lingers
A report from the Kaiser Family Foundation indicates that three years after Katrina, rates of depression have increased, and those taking prescription medicine for mental health problems rose from 8 to 17 percent since 2006. The full report is available. ... []
Responding to responders: who is responsible?
The federal government's responsibility for meeting health care problems resulting from 9.11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City were addressed in hearings held yesterday. Rep. Carolyn Maloney, (D-NY) was among the witnesses to testify about the nation's responsibility, not just New York's, in meeting the physical and mental health needs of responders. Uncertain federal funding has compromised treatment options, including special programs set up for firefighters and police. Maloney lambasted the Bush administration for discharging Dr.... []
H.R. 6594
Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) introduced a bill (HR 6594) "To amend the Public Health Service Act to extend and improve protections and services to individuals directly impacted by the terrorist attack in New York City on September 11, 2001." []
New York City steps up
New York City opens help for 9/11 victims still struggling with mental health or substance use disorders. []
Katrina's legacy: outpatient commitment?
Will the legacy of Hurricane Katrina become a mandate for involuntary outpatient commitment? According to the New Orleans Times-Picayune: "Mandating treatment -- and checking on patients to ensure they are complying with court orders -- would require a massive expansion of the outpatient services available in the New Orleans area, which have been significantly lacking since Hurricane Katrina" An infusion of $26 million was announced last month, and one official said the creation of new services might be able to... []
Telemedicine after Katrina
Professor Ronald Kessler included telemedicine as one option for New Orleans two years after Katrina left the devastated city short of psychiatric services. Kessler, co-author of a recent study published in Psychiatric Services, discussed a range of persistent symptoms -- PTSD, depression, and suicidal thoughts -- plaguing people who are trying to rebuild their lives. Kessler's nine-minute interview with NPR can be heard on their site. ... []
. . .from the APHA, Nov. 5-7
by Phyllis Vine
The American Public Health Association annual meeting in Washington, DC, has a number of events discussing a range of issues from Monday's session on empowering consumers in mental health treatments to disaster preparedness, school based reforms. Read summaries of selected sessions, including Dr. Ron Manderscheid's presentation about PTSD and returning vets.

Climate change affects mental health
The impact of climate change for people with mental illness was part of the testimony the Bush administration redacted from the Dr. Julie Gerberding’s prepared remarks at last week’s hearing before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. Gerberding is director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Refuting accusations circulating widely that redacting seven of 12 pages was actually censorship, Dr. John Marburger, Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy,said Gerberding’s testimony... []
Anticipating disaster -- school preparedness
RAND, a nonprofit research organization, released a report saying schools should create programs to anticipate students needs after a hurricane, shooting or earthquake. An assessment of 196,000 students in grades K-12 displaced by Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana, in 2005, indicated that even where emergency responses were adequate, six months later many programs had disappeared leaving PTSD, chronic stress, anxiety or depression untreated. Lisa H. Jaycox, study director, said schools must follow-up “for the months and years afterward when lingering mental... []
Disaster preparedness protects
A study of rescue workers after the 9.11 attacks on New York's World Trade Center shows the lowest rates of PTSD (6.2 percent) came from police who had been trained for the tasks they performed. According to a study in the American Journal of Psychiatry, volunteers and other workers (sanitation, construction, engineering) reported rates more than three times as high (21.2 percent). The number of hours worked and the length of shifts also influenced the trauma each experienced. ... []

Phyllis Vine

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