Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Katrina: The Emotional Costs

The damage from Katrina just goes on and on. Mental health experts say the emotional scars are far beyond what has ever been confronted in this country. From WaPo......

Orleans Parish coroner Frank Minyard said he does not have statistics for the city, because many deaths -- including nine by gunshot -- remain a mystery. He knows of at least one woman who killed herself recently. New Orleans emergency personnel have responded to at least six suicides and nearly two dozen suicide attempts since Katrina. The tightly knit community of Academy of the Sacred Heart, the Rosary, is coping with two suicides, headmaster Timothy M. Burns said. Shortly before Thanksgiving, a woman with young children took her life. Last week, the father of a Sacred Heart student was buried.

And with so few medical services available in the region and the slow pace of rebuilding, experts expect the psychological toll to grow far worse.
In a clinical survey of Orleans and Jefferson parishes, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 45 percent of the residents were experiencing "significant distress or dysfunction" and 25 percent had an even "higher degree of dysfunction," said Dori Reissman of the CDC. Nearly half of those interviewed reported feeling isolated, and a quarter believe at least one family member needs counseling.

And this is an example from TheTimes-Picayune, a sad story called.....
The Storm That Keeps Killing

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