[mentalhealth-l] TODAYS 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
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:
NEWS RELEASES FROM FEDERAL AGENCIES
>>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."
REPORT FROM THOSE ON THE LINE
>>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.
ABOUT THE SCHOOL'S ROLE IN ADDRESSING PSYCHOLOGICAL REACTIONS TO LOSS
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
Environments that support learning
Grief and bereavement
Homeless Children and Youth
Peer relationships and peer counseling
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
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