Gulf of Mexico Disaster Spills Over Into the Psyche

June 23, 2010

The effects of the BP oil spill are sure to reach beyond the environment. Psychiatrists warned that the spill may have long-term psychological consequences on residents, mental health workers, and cleanup volunteers.

June 22, 2010-As a result of the BP tragedy 2 months ago, crude oil continues to pour into the Gulf of Mexico-but its effects are sure to reach beyond the environment. In an Institute of Medicine forum in New Orleans on Tuesday, psychiatrists warned that the spill-already affecting the financial viability and physical health of local inhabitants-may have long-term psychological consequences on residents, mental health workers, cleanup volunteers, and others. Using Katrina as a reference point, community workers are scrambling to attend to the needs of local inhabitants in order to prevent psychological effects of a large-scale disaster. These can take the form of stress, anxiety, depression, substance abuse, domestic violence, posttraumatic stress, and even suicidal thoughts.
Details available at: http://www.iom.edu/Activities/PublicHealth/OilSpillHealth/2010-JUN-22.aspx and
http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/news/20100622/gulf-oil-spill-may-leave-emotional-wounds?src=RSS_PUBLIC

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