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Campaign Connects Hurricane Survivors With Mental Health Services

A year after Katrina, many are still suffering, experts say

FRIDAY, Sept. 1, 2006 (HealthDay News) -- Concerned groups this week launched a series of U.S. national print, billboard, television and radio public service ads to encourage people psychologically affected by last year's hurricanes to seek mental health services.

The PSAs -- a collaboration between the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Ad Council -- are being distributed to media outlets this week to coincide with the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

The ads are part of the Hurricane Mental Health Awareness Campaign, launched in the fall of 2005 to help people affected by last year's devastating storm season.

"Most survivors of Katrina, Rita and Wilma are demonstrating remarkable resiliency and are rebuilding their lives. The new public service ads offer a doorway to help for survivors who are still struggling with the emotional toll of last year's hurricanes," Eric Broderick, assistant U.S. surgeon general and acting deputy administrator of SAMHSA, said in a prepared statement.

The PSAs encourage people to assess how they and their family members are coping with the aftermath of the hurricanes. If they're experiencing mental health problems, they're urged to call a toll-free number (1-800-789-2647) to speak with a trained professional who can provide them with information and a referral to local mental health services.

More information

The American Psychiatric Association has more about storm-related natural disasters.

SOURCE: U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, news release, Aug. 29, 2006
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