School-Based Disaster Mental Health Services

Clinical, Policy, and Community Challenges

Published In: Professional Psychology, Research and Practice, v. 39, no. 1, Feb. 2008 p. 52-57

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2008

by Kristin L. Dean, Audra K. Langley, Sheryl H. Kataoka, Lisa H. Jaycox, Marleen Wong, Bradley D. Stein

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The consequences of Hurricane Katrina have far-reaching implications for the mental health system in the Gulf Coast region, with some of the most vulnerable survivors being children and adolescents. School-based services have been proposed as an ideal way to provide care; however, significant challenges remain in providing trauma-informed services in schools postdisaster. The authors discuss the consultation and training activities of the Los Angeles Unified School District Trauma Services Adaptation Center for Schools and Communities following Hurricane Katrina. Issues related to the dissemination of evidence-based treatment in schools following a disaster are discussed, as are the particular needs of providers and school staff and the importance of community collaboration in identifying ways to adapt implementation strategies for specific communities.

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