Five Years After Katrina, Kids Still Need Mental-Health Help
Anxiety and depression affect thousands of children.
Children who suffered through the August 2005 disaster of Hurricane Katrina and the flooding of New Orleans now have “widespread mental issues” because of what they endured, according to a report by the Children’s Health Fund.
The report by the nonprofit group said that while there have been “significant signs of economic, infrastructural and educational recovery” in the Gulf region, residents have not had nearly enough access to mental-health services.
Among the report’s findings:
*Children displaced by Katrina were 4.5 likelier than other kids to have symptoms indicating serious emotional disturbances.
*Among parents who thought their children needed mental-health services, less than 50 percent actually got it.
*Four and a half years after Katrina, nearly half the households who had been displaced for more than a year were still living in “unstable housing”—temporary housing that couldn’t accommodate the families for more than a year. According to CHF, housing instability is a big factor in kids’ emotional disorders.
Sadly, according to the CHF report, it looks as though there’s practically a second generation of kids affected by events in the Gulf region. More than one third of parents living within ten miles of the coast reported that their children had suffered either physical symptoms or mental distress following yet another disaster: the BP oil spill earlier this year. (Children’s Health Fund)
Jane Farrell is a senior editor at BettyConfidential.