Sunday, August 13, 2006

Katrina Every Day

Imagine that more than half of all the homes in your city were destroyed. Moldering, decaying. Imagine that all the friends and neighbors that lived in those homes were scattered across thousands of miles. Imagine all the history of your life, your family's life, the culture that you breathed in, muddied and torn.

You'd be depressed right? Sad? Stressed? Maybe even suicidal? I would be. I'm thousands of miles away, and I am.

What would my life have been like if I'd never left New Orleans? What if instead of becoming a photographer in New York, I became one down there? Would I be like John McCusker now? Here is a man who couldn't take any more.

There are many more like him. The suicide rate in the K-hole is three times higher than it was before Katrina. Depression is the norm.

I'll be there over the next week making portraits of survivors for use in public service announcements highlighting the need to reach out for help when it all gets to be too much.

It's just a tiny drop of help in a vast ocean of need.


Audi said...

Good video!!!! Keep up the fight.

Dangle 24-7 said...

Thanks to Traveling Mermaid, I found you.

Wow, amazing post.

We need mental health professionals. It is estimated that we have lost approximately 90% of these professionals.

Besides PS announcements for the general population, please consider PS announcements directed towards recruiting Mental Health Professionals.

Schroeder said...

Absolutely fabulous to have you back Clayton. You're still at the top of my Katrina blogroll. I keep thinking I'll take it down one of these days. I'm glad I don't have to yet!

Anonymous said...

Much needed! Keep up the good fight.

cehwiedel said...

This post will be included in today's edition of the Carnival of Hurricane Relief (see ) and has been added to the CoHR Squidoo Lens (see ). Please consider submitting future posts to CoHR.

Anonymous said...

I read you while we were evacuated. Continue on.

Judy Thorne said...

Welcome back, Clayton.
Great ad.

Leslie said...

Hey Clayton! I'm thrilled your incredible talent is going to be used for such a noble cause. And I truly know how frustrating it is when a part of life gets in the way of what life is all about.

The sad part about the statistics is that they are reflecting pure numbers. Not proportionate numbers. There are fewer than half the people making 3 times the calls.

THAT is the telling part.


Anonymous said...

Hi, it's nice to see you back!
I've also had you on my list of favorites, I checked up on you and the Common Ground folks in New Orleans, as well as the Eight Days of Hope...It's weird how you get into a pattern and find yourself clicking on the same links...I also check in on the Gulf Coast News, I live in freakin' CA, I don't know why I find myself drawn to their lives...but anyways...
I'm still running the website and a lady just sent me some from SC...I assume every little bit helps...It's hard to keep up the work, but it comes and goes in bursts...I also still have some great footage I acquired before Katrina as well as Katrina footage from people who live in MS, and I still have to transfer it all to digital, ugh!
Hopefully, I can find the energy to do it!
Well, keep up the great work and I enjoy checking in on you and your family!

Best Wishes,
JoAnn Bush
Los Angeles, CA

Anonymous said...

Hey Clayton,

I've been reading you for nearly a year now (how can it have gone by so quickly).

Keep up the good work.

Trillian xx

Anonymous said...

I think New Orleans need more suicide and depression counsellors immediately. Everyday people face the world with pessimism and negativity. The government must continue to provide aid as well a the necessary things to make the lives of the people here improve.

Robbin said...

Thank you for helping to keep the victims and survivors of Katrina in the public conscience. I was among the permanently displaced, and I both yearn for home and deal with the guilt of not remaining to rebuild. We landed on our feet, but nothing will replace the loss of our memories. The feeling of disorientation lingers still.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for highlighting my story here. Tomorrow I face arraignment on two felony charges related to the August incident.
Sincerely, John McCusker