[mentalhealth-l] TODAY’S UPDATE (9/16/05) – Hurricane Aftermath

mentalhealth-l at lists.ucla.edu mentalhealth-l at lists.ucla.edu
Fri Sep 16 08:18:16 PDT 2005


From: Center for Mental Health in Schools at UCLA

Re: TODAY'S UPDATE (9/16/05) –––– Hurricane Aftermath

 >> "I am working with a team of volunteers on a new hurricane relief 
project, Project Reassure. We are editors, mental health specialists, 
special educators, school administrators, teachers, healthcare 
professionals, photographers, designers, students, and writers who are 
volunteering to create resources for those caring for the young victims of 
the Katrina disaster. We are especially concerned about those with 
disabilities, whose needs often are overlooked. Our brand-new website is 
www.projectreassure.org where you can view the press release, our first 
resources, and information on how you can help.
We are compiling suggestions in easy-to-use handouts written for 
volunteers, parents, and professionals. If you would like to contribute 
ideas for the resource sheets or skills such as editing and writing, we 
would be grateful for the help.
If you know of schools or other youth-serving organizations receiving 
displaced children and teens, please let us know. We will add them to our 
list of recipients. We are raising funds for some print distribution and 
will be e-mailing resources to those who can access e-mail. All resources 
will be available for download from our web site.
Thank you for your support. Mary Margaret Kerr, on behalf of the volunteers 
of Project Reassure at the University of Pittsburgh, 3811 O'Hara Street/128 
North Craig Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15213  – Tel. 412-687-2580/2495    Fax. 
 >>Dear Friends of Education -- This is an important time for the entire 
education community. Thank you for everything that you and your 
organization are doing to help displaced students, teachers, and families. 
As we collectively work to help impacted communities, we must also think 
about next steps and recovery. I'm interested in learning more about what 
your organization is working on related to the recovery efforts. If your 
organization develops a legislative package or request related to the 
Katrina recovery efforts, I would appreciate hearing your views.
Joan Wodiska, Director, Education, Early Childhood and Workforce Committee, 
National Governors Association, Washington, DC 20001 – (202) 
624-5361  (202) 624-5313 (fax)  jwodiska at nga.org

 >> "Helping Children in the Wake of Disaster" – the National Center for 
Children Exposed to Violence has a guide for providers and one for parents 
– at
(provider guide)
http://www.nccev.org/docs/Parents%20Guide%20(Sept.%202005).pdf (parent guide)
 >>Connect For Kids has online resources divided into three sections: (1) 
Emergency Guidelines for Helping Victims -- looks at how government 
agencies are developing procedures for helping the displaced; (2) Giving & 
Getting Help -- is a compilation of information on donating and 
volunteering, also on help available to those affected; and (3) Help with 
Healing -- offers information on supporting kids and families dealing with 
trauma related to Katrina. http://www.connectforkids.org/node/3372

 >>Talktime Live! Coping & Support Strategies for Kids in Katrina's 
Aftermath – On Wednesday, Sept. 21 from 1 to 2 p.m., Connect For Kid's 
TalkTime Live! will host two experts -- one with insight into emotional 
support for traumatized kids, and one to look at how government programs 
can best be shaped to help those displaced.  Join the chat live next 
Wednesday and submit pre-questions ahead of time at: 

 >>NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH (NIH) http://www.nih.gov/icd/od/
NIH Opens up Medical Consultation Line to Patients Affected by Hurricane 
Katrina – The National Institutes of Health today announced that it is 
expanding its round-the-clock telephone medical consultation service 
previously available to health care providers to all patients affected by 
Hurricane Katrina. Medical experts at NIH, academic medical centers and the 
nation's medical professional societies are available 24 hours a day, 7 
days a week, to provide medical consultations on a wide array of medical 
problems. The toll-free number is 1-866-887-2842.
"Our goal is to match national experts with care providers dealing with 
difficult or complicated medical cases. We also want to help patients in 
the affected area who were on clinical trials and receiving treatment." 
Consultations are available in environmental/toxic concerns, infectious 
diseases, tropical/geographical medicine, ophthalmology, oral medicine, 
psychiatry, cardiac/pulmonary diseases, genetic diseases, pediatric 
endocrinology, pediatric metabolism, obstetrics/gynecology, cancer and 
adult endocrinology. "If a consultation is needed in other areas, we'll 
make the connections." "Our partners at the nation's academic medical 
centers have generously volunteered their expertise in this initiative, and 
many medical societies have mobilized their membership to provide clinical 
advice as needed."
Physicians caring for patients on NIH-sponsored clinical trials that have 
been interrupted because of the Katrina disaster-or clinical trial patients 
themselves-can call the consultation line for options on continuing therapy 
under a clinical trial. "Our commitment is to do what we can to help 
protect the lives and health of patients."
For more information about NIH responses to the Katrina disaster, go to the 
NIH website, http://www.nih.gov. More details for cancer patients, their 
families, and physicians are on the National Cancer Institute's website, 

 >>EDUCATION WEEK --"Forced Out by Storm, Teachers Seek News of Job 
Openings, Pay --Thousands of displaced teachers from Louisiana and 
Mississippi struggled to put their lives back together last week, anxiously 
awaiting news of jobs and paychecks disrupted by the deadly Gulf Coast 
storm. States offered the evacuees pay and benefits, but faced a logistical 
nightmare in finding the scattered teachers and retrieving payroll and 
employment records. Other states made arrangements to hire those teachers 
on a provisional basis. Meanwhile, the two major teachers' unions, the 
National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers, set 
up phone lines for their members to call for information about their school 
districts and advice on union benefits such as supplemental health 
insurance, loans and disaster aid.

 >>WALL STREET JOURNAL – "Separate but Equal?  Schooling of Evacuees 
Provokes Debate – The 372,00 schoolchildren displaced by Hurricane Katrina 
are stirring up an old debate ...A number of states, including Utah and 
Texas, want to teach some of the dispersed ...students in shelters instead 
of in local public schools, a stance supported by the Bush administration 
and some private education providers. But advocates for homeless famileis 
and civil rights oppose that approach.  At the center of the dispute is 
whether the McKinney-Vento Act [which bans the educational segregation of 
homeless children] should apply to the evacuees. In addition, because many 
of the stranded students are black, holding classes for them at military 
bases, convention centers or other emergency housing sites could run afoul 
of racial desegration plans still operating in some school districts."

 >>In Dallas Independent School District, we interviewed all Katrina 
students (now about 1700) and are triaging into services.   We have a good 
plan and are taking care of our students and their families. We also are 
offering Care for the Caregivers led by a team of psychiatrists.


Some Basic Questions and Answers

Q. Why should schools play a role in addressing psychological reactions to 

A. As the Carnegie Task Force on Education has stressed:
School systems are not responsible, for meeting every need of their students.
But when the need directly affects learning, the school must meet the 

Q. What makes the current disaster a high priority mental health concern?

A. Unprecedented dislocation and devastation

Q. What is the range of events that create a sense of loss?

A. Frequent and common events --------> severe and infrequent events

Q. What is the range of responses to loss?

A. Normal developmental responses  -------> troublesome psychological 
reactions --------> mental health disorders

Q. What are some of the immediate roles for a school to play?

A. Welcoming relocated students and providing a range of supports; not 
adding stressors; providing special assistance when individuals can't cope

Q. What can I do to help schools, districts, organizations, communities in 
responding to students who need assistance in dealing with loss?

A. Share what you are learning about this matter and direct them to resources.

Download resources available from the Center for Mental Health in Schools and
use the Center website as a gateway to a world of resources - 

         Go to the Quick Find online clearinghouse and access topics such as:

                 •       Crisis Prevention and Response
                 •       Depression
                 •       Environments that support learning
                 •       Grief and bereavement
                 •       Homeless Children and Youth
                 •       Peer relationships and peer counseling
                 •       Post-traumatic stress
                 •       Resilience/protective factors
                 •       Support for Transitions

         For each of these topics you will see links to Center materials, 
to other online resources,
         and to others centers that focus on the topic.

Please keep sending us information to share with others.
What do you need? What is helpful? (What is not?)
Your input is essential and is greatly appreciated by other across the country.

School Mental Health Project/
Center for Mental Health in Schools
UCLA Dept. of Psychology
Los Angeles, CA  90095-1563
(310) 825-3634 / Toll Free: (866) 846-4843 / Fax: (310) 206-8716
Email: smhp at ucla.edu
Web: http://smhp.psych.ucla.edu  
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