"Helping Hands, Healing Minds"
The New Orleans Mental Health
Education and Training Project
New Orleans needs your help!
- Federal officials estimate that there are
about 500,000 persons in need of some form of mental health services
as a result of Katrina and its aftermath, many of whom are racial
and ethnic minorities.
officials estimate that 30% of New Orleans residents are suffering
from serious mental health problems, and that there are another 20%
in need of help though they do not meet the criteria for a diagnosed
- The mental health needs
associated with these disorders include treatment of post traumatic
stress disorders, substance abuse counseling, screening for anxiety
and depression as well assessment of medication needs for the
treatment of various mental health disorders.
New Orleans reports that pre-Katrina they
received 3 suicidal or severely depressed calls a day. Now calls
number around 14 a day.
What can you do?
- We are planning a day long training in
evidence based therapies, specifically Motivational Interviewing,
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and PTSD for both adults and children.
They have indicated that there are approximately 500 individuals who
will attend such a training.
- Help us
design a workshop for teachers and parents (working with the
Children's Defense Fund) on signs of mental health distress in
children, what can be done and when to refer. We are looking for
individuals with expertise in children and families again with
particular focus on the subpopulations.
In addition to training there are a number of
other ways to get involved. We are committed to leaving toolkits
behind so we are seeking copies of articles about these therapies,
especially if they are pertinent to the subpopulations above. So if
you have materials if you would send them electronically to me at
firstname.lastname@example.org that would be very helpful.
We are looking for short one pagers that can
be given to individuals on how to cope with change, how to spot
signs of mental health distress and self help steps that can be
taken, or ways that parents can help children to feel safer. We are
looking for any materials of this type that you think may be helpful
and for individuals who can translate the materials for the
- We are also
attempting a drive to get books, school supplies and backpacks for
children from 5-15 as a way of celebrating their new start as some
are just returning to school for the first time this Fall. If you
can gather books for fun reading in their primary language as well
as English this would be useful gifts for our partners, Children's
Defense Fund to give away.