Saturday, June 19, 2010

Psychological Warfare

Even as America argues over how to deal with one catastrophe, Southeast Louisiana readies itself for the next one. And I'm not talking about the hurricanes, I'm talking about the mental health disaster waiting for the Gulf Coast.

In the last decade, residents of the Gulf region have endured several waves of devastation that has ravaged their homes and way of life. Since 2004, they have been forced to cope with the wreckage from Hurricanes Wilma, Rita, Katrina and Ivan, which rank among the ten most intense hurricanes in the Atlantic. Now, as the oil spill fiasco in the gulf continues with no end in sight, the psychological damage to Gulf residents is beginning to outweigh the toll taken on the land.

Despite incomparable resiliency, your fellow Americans in Southeast Louisiana haven't fully recovered from the population wide traumatic stress of the last big thing. That will only compound the effects of the current events.

The psychological impact of Louisiana's newest disaster is likely to dwarf the impact of the Exxon-Valdez spill in Alaska in 1989.



oyster said...

THis is an underrated longer-term issue. Psychic trauma after environmental disaster? You betcha.

Leigh C. said...

And Jindal hasn't just closed down NOAH, he also closed down the facility in Mandeville that was supposed to be where the GNO area adolescents who needed treatment could go. Make that infinitesimally overrated.