Mental Health Is A Victim Too

Nearly two-and-a-half years after the devastation of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, many Louisianans still experience negative health effects related to the storms, especially mental health problems, according to a new report from the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.

Researchers conducted a telephone survey of 800 Louisiana adults from April 9 to 16 for the report. Nine out of 10 respondents were living in the state or along the Gulf Coast at the time of the hurricanes.

From the Baton Rouge Advocate:

About 60% said there are few specialized health care services and medicines
available for mental health care;

Nearly 90% said their mental health is just as important as their
physical health, and 30% said the current health care system treats the
conditions equally;

More than 55% said the health care system gives physical health more

About one-third said there have been improvements in access to health
care professionals in the area, 40% said the access has remained the same
and 20% reported access worsening;

Almost 70% said in general residents feel ashamed or embarrassed about mental
health problems; and said the hurricanes did not have a significant effect on their mental health.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune also reports that two-thirds of respondents in coastal parishes said the hurricanes affected the mental health of their community. Furthermore, while 46% of respondents across the state said the storms did not leave them displaced, "depression and stress were still commonly mentioned health effects of the hurricanes." Karen Goraleski, research director at Research!America, said the results will have a greater impact on local lawmakers.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home