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The Impact of Disasters and Their Aftermath on Mental Health.

Robert J. Ursano, MD; Frederick P. Cerise, MD, MPH; Robert DeMartino, MD; Dori B. Reissman, MD, MPH; and M. Katherine Shear, MD

Published: January 16, 2006

Article Abstract

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In recent years, there has been an increased concern about wide-scale disasters, both natural and man-made, and their impact on the mental health of the population at large. In addition to the trauma of the disaster itself, the aftermath of the disaster, as the affected population tries to rebuild both literally and figuratively, can affect mental health as well. This discussion is focused on Hurricane Katrina, which hit the U.S. Gulf Coast in August 2005, but the concerns and challenges faced by health care personnel on the public and personal levels are similar to those in any wide-scale disaster or terrorist event that might affect our nation.

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