Effects Of Natural, Manmade Disasters On Mental Health Worldwide

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"Natural and Manmade Disasters and Mental Health," Journal of the American Medical Association: In the commentary, David Satcher, former U.S. surgeon general and commissioner of the Commission on Social Determinants of Health,and Sharon Friel and Ruth Bell, members of the Commission Secretariat,discuss the effects of natural and manmade disasters on mental healthduring a time of global climate change, aging populations, worseningsocial problems and civil unrest.

The authors also discuss the need formore research and action in strategies that promote mental healthresilience and prevent mental illness. The authors cite a study thatfound 39% of Hurricane Katrina evacuees experienced moderate symptomsof post-traumatic stress disorder and 24% experienced severe symptoms.They write that data from the study indicate that similar long-termconditions should be expected among survivors of Hurricanes Katrina andRita (Satcher et al., JAMA, 12/5).

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