Sunday, November 12, 2006

Katrina Mental Health PSA #2

Ad agency Grey Worldwide worked with the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Ad Council to create a series of PSAs highlighting the need for Katrina surivors to reach out for help. Depression and post-traumatic stress disorder are rampant throughout the survivor population in the Gulf Coast.

They sent me down to photograph survivors for the ads. I spent a week in New Orleans and Mississippi. This is the second ad to come out.

CNN Commentary: Katrina victims 'stuck on stuck'
"It is morally intolerable that a year after Hurricane Katrina, many thousands of children and families are still suffering and going without critical supports like health care, mental health care and housing and schooling in the richest nation on earth.

Experts testified at a July congressional hearing in New Orleans that mental health needs are a critical concern for survivors. There are only 10 mental health pediatric and youth beds available in New Orleans, although the number of children with unresolved mental health problems has increased. There were 3200 physicians in Orleans and surrounding parishes before the storm; only 1400 are practicing now -- requiring many families to see unfamiliar doctors and to drive many miles for health care. Homelessness is on the rise, and thousands of people continue to live in shelters, trailer parks, and with relatives and strangers with no relief in sight -- just "stuck on stuck," as a homeless state employee said."