Katrina’s Lingering Mental Health Toll

Substance abuse and mental illness were the long-lasting effects of Hurricane Katrina—and a lesson for cities recovering now from recent hurricanes like Harvey, Irma and Maria.
Psychiatric helpline calls went up 61% post-Katrina; murders jumped 37%.
Low-income victims lacking safety nets suffered the worst effects. 4 years after the storm, 1 in 5 single moms reported storm-related anxiety and depression.
Health systems have to prepare for survivors’ long-term psychological injuries, which can develop and manifest months years after the disaster.

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