Hurricane Katrina changed the lives of millions of people
who live along the Gulf Coast. Many residents of Louisiana, Mississippi
and Alabama lost their homes and jobs, were separated from loved ones,
and suffered through inhumane conditions for days without food and
water while surrounded by death and destruction. Other states are
also struggling with the influx of evacuees.
The psychological implications are yet unknown, but
are guaranteed to be tremendous, now and in the months and years to
NMHA has personally felt the effects of this tragedy,
as our affiliates in these regions were severely impacted. To our
knowledge, fortunately, no MHA staff members or relatives were physically
harmed by the hurricane, though some employees and families did lose
their homes. As of September 13th:
- The Mental Health Associations (MHAs) in Louisiana
are experiencing the full impact of the hurricane’s aftermath. However, all—except
the MHA of New Orleans—are up and running. While the state
Mental Health Association of Louisiana in Baton Rouge was initially
limited in its ability to respond, having been evacuated from their
building due to street violence, it is now providing assistance
to evacuee shelters. Other MHAs are also helping out at shelters
and connecting mental health consumers with needed services.
- Our affiliate in Mississippi has survived. The Gulfport office
is operational and will soon staff case managers/counselors and
will begin providing mental health services. The Biloxi office,
though still standing, did sustain some damage and will remain closed
at this time.
- The MHAs in Alabama weathered the storm and are actively providing
mental health services in their communities.
NMHA has reactivated its Mental Health Crisis
was established in 2001 to provide mental health
assistance in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in
New York City and Washington, D.C.—to support our national
and local work on behalf of the millions of Americans impacted by
The Fund will enable NMHA to continue to provide
mental health information and resources to Katrina’s victims and responders,
help affiliate staff in the affected regions cope with the aftermath
and assist their communities, and respond to requests for mental
health information and referrals through our National Resource Center.
Donate online at www.nmha.org or contact NMHA’s Gift
Office directly at 800-969-6642 or email@example.com.