Mental Health

American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress, Teacher Guidelines for Crisis Response, A Practical Guide for Crisis Response in Our Schools, 2003, p. 96
This article describes the reactions teachers may encounter in children after a disaster like a hurricane. The article also provides suggestions for teachers to deal with children after a disaster/crisis.


Educating and Protecting Children, United States Government of Accountability Office, May 2006
"In August and September 2005, Hurricane Katrina and Rita caused devasting damage to states along the Gulf Coast.  In the aftermath of the storms, many questions were raised about the status of the thousands of children living in the affected area.  [The GAO] prepared this preliminary information under the Comptroller General's authority to learn more about 1) the number of missing children and the challenges and lessons learned in locating them; 2) the number of foster and other children receiving child welfare services in Louisiana, in particular, who were affected by the storm, and the challenges and lessons learned in locating and serving them; and 3) the number of schoolchildren displaced by the storm, the damage to their schools, and the challenges and lessons learned for educating displaced school-aged children."


Work Group on Disasters, Psychosocial Issues for Children and Families in Disasters: A guide for the Primary Care Physician, American Academy of Pediatrics
This online booklet provides doctors with information regarding disasters so they might better diagnose and treat their patients.


David Abramson, Richard Garfield, and Irwin Redlener, The Recovery Divide: Poverty and the Widening Gap Among Mississippi Children and Families Affected by Hurricane Katrina, National Center for Disaster Preparedness & The Children’s Health Fund, Feb. 2, 2007
This study finds the following: the working poor were most vulnerable to Katrina; children have experienced persistent emotional stress; parents and caregivers have reported exceedingly high rates of mental health distress and disability; the rates of uninsured children in Mississippi have drastically increased; and children are becoming more disengaged from school as evidenced by rates of absenteeism.


Prepared by David Abramson and Richard Garfield, On the Edge: Children and Families Displaced by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita Face a Looming Medical and Mental Health Crisis, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, National Center for Disaster Preparedness and Operation Assist, Apr. 2006
Survey of Hurricane Katrina survivors living in FEMA housing regarding medical and mental health.


One Year After Katrina, More is Known About Its Mental Health Effects; Storm’s Widespread Effect on People of Color and Children and the Need for Culturally Competent Mental Health Services are Evident, American Psychological Association, Aug. 7, 2006
“Victims of national disasters often experience trauma that can lead to psychological disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression and substance abuse.  Katrina and its aftermath left whole communities particularly vulnerable to such psychological disorders, not only because of the ongoing stress and upheaval of the storm, but also because of the challenging circumstances that many storm victims lived with before Katrina.  Those especially at risk include children, minorities, the poor and women.  When such large-scale disasters happen—disasters that result in the shattering of whole communities—an appropriate response must include mental health resources that encompass a wide range of knowledge and training in mental health issues as well as a depth of knowledge of the communities that were affected and their culture, customs and language…” (from APA report)


Bruce D. Perry and Christine Dobson, Understanding the Impact of Katrina on Children and Adolescents, Child Trauma Academy
"On August 29 the lives of millions of people, many of whom were children, were forever changed as Hurricane Katrina slammed into New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. The trauma and loss experienced by those hit by the storm has only begun to surface. Among those most affected by this disaster are the children. Children are far more vulnerable to traumatic events than adults and thus, are at a greater risk for emotional, social and mental health problems."


National Child Traumatic Stress Network, Parent Guidelines for Helping Children after a Hurricane
This newsletter describes common reactions of children after a hurricane and offers suggestions for parents to help their children.


Donna A. Gaffney, The Aftermath of Disaster: Children in Crisis, Journal of Clinical Psychology, 2006, V. 62, p. 1001-1016

This article discusses the effects of disasters like Hurricane Katrina and September 11th on a child's mental health.


David J. Schonfeld, Are We Ready and Willing to Address the Mental Health Needs of Children? Implications from September 11th., Pediatrics: Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, 2004, V. 113, p. 1400-1401
This commentary questions whether children's mental health needs were provided for in the wake of 9/11.


National Institute of Mental Health, Helping Children and Adolescents Cope with Violence and Disasters, , Sept. 2001, Pub. No. 01-3518
This article discusses PTSD in children after disasters and explains how to help children dealing with symptoms of PTSD after a disaster like September 11.


Joseph F. Hagan et al., Psychosocial Implications of Disaster or Terrorism on Children: A Guide for the Pediatrician, Pediatrics: Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Sept. 2005, V.116, No. 3, p. 787-789;116/3/787
This report defines disasters and describes the effects of disasters on children.


Linda Garner Evans and Judy Oehler-Stinnett, Structure and Prevalence of PTSD Symptomology in Children Who Have Experienced a Severe Tornado, Psychology in Schools, 2006, V. 43, Issue 3, p. 283-295

This article examines the occurrence of PTSD after a tornado.


Annette LaGreca et al., After the Storm: A Guide to Help Children Cope with the Psychological Effects of a Hurricane,, 2005, p. 1-41
This electronic book seeks to be an interactive tool for people to use with children after a hurricane


NYU Child Study Center, The Mental Health Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina: How Can We Help Children Get Back on Their Feet?
This article discusses resiliency in children after Hurricane Katrina and offers suggestions on supporting them after the disaster.


Aaron Levin, Lingering Post-Katrina MH Problems may be New Normal for Children, Psychiatric News, Jul. 7, 2006, V. 41, p. 6
This article describes continuing symptoms of PTSD ten months after Hurricane Katrina

Television Viewing of the Katrina Disaster will have Psychological Effects on Children around the Country, NYU Child Study Center, Sept. 9, 2005, Press Release
This press release describes the effects of TV viewing on children across the country--not just those directly affected by the storm.


Government Relations Staff, The Mental Health Impact of Hurricanes Katrina & Rita, American Psychological Association Practice Guide, Oct. 17, 2005
Lists statistics regarding mental health effects of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, including those regarding children

Helping Children After a Disaster, American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Jul. 2004, No. 36
Pamphlet discusses factors that affect a child's development of mental disorders after a disaster, and lists suggestions for parents to help children cope.


Irwin Redlener & Roy Grant, The 9/11 Terror Attacks: Emotional Consequences persist for children and their families, Contemporary Pediatrics, Sept. 2002, V. 19, p. 43-59

Click here for website.
Article describes the mental and emotional health consequences of the 9/11 disaster. The article also includes a checklist for screening children for mental health disorders.


American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress, Practical Suggestions for Assisting Children in the Aftermath of a Tragedy, A Practical Guide for Crisis Response in Our Schools, 2003, p. 94
Article is a list of practical suggestions for family, friends, and school personnel to deal with children after a disaster. Also mentions variables that affect how a child copes with tragedy.


Defining Child Traumatic Stress, National Child Traumatic Stress Network
Posting gives an overview of child traumatic stress.


Bruce D. Perry, MD, PhD, The Real Crisis of Katrina, The National Association to PROTECT Children
The real crisis of Katrina is not the physical destruction but the damage done to the mental health and well-being of affected children.  Children exposed to childhood traumas are likely to be adversely affected as adults.  The resources dedicated to rebuilding the lives of children must be at least equal to those allocated from the rebuilding of the Gulf Coast’s physical infrastructure.


Russell T. Jones, Robert Frary, Phillippe Cunningham, J. David Weddle, and Lisa Kaiser, The Psychological Effects of Hurricane Andrew on Ethnic Minority and Caucasian Children and Adolescents: A Case Study, Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, , V. 7, No. 1, p. 103-108

This case study examines Hurricane Andrew's effect on elementary and middle school children six months after the hurricane.