Introduction to Mental Health Counseling
Week 9 Assignment
On August 29, 2005, one of the deadliest hurricanes devastated the historic city of New Orleans, better known as Hurricane Katrina. Hurricane Katrina claimed the lives of over 2,000 New Orleans’ residents and left millions of others without a place to call home. In a city completely surrounded by water, it was no match to the hurricane and unreliable levees that led to massive flooding. Having visited New Orleans prior to Hurricane Katrina, I realized that the city consisted of several poverty stricken neighborhoods. Upon exposure of the hurricane, New Orleans was suffering from low paying jobs, poor housing, and a lack of educational resources. And although the storm severely affected the entire city, it was in those poverty stricken neighborhoods that were at greater risk because they were located below sea level and fail vulnerable to the wrath of the storm. This was paid little attention because relief efforts were slowly put in effect and the federal government was also slow to meet the needs of the people affected by the storm. Causing many to be displaced from their homes, suffer from tremendous losses, and be exposed to several safety hazards.
The traumatic experience of Hurricane Katrina caused immediate mental health concerns for many of its victims. In a study later conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it showed that over half of the hurricane victims displayed a need for mental health services. There were high rates of depression, posttraumatic stress, substance abuse, psychological issues, and anxiety amongst the people of New Orleans. Some of the issues that contributed to the increase of mental health concerns amongst this population were the loss of loved ones and homes, leaving what they once considered as their daily lives to be in nonexistence. Also the basic needs of many of the victims were not met, which caused starvation, dehydration, unsafe environments, improper sanitation, malnourishment, and a host of other physical and emotional health concerns.
I can only imagine the amount of stress that was on the first responders. A lot of first responders reported that they were greatly affected by dual-traumatic experiences. They to witnessed several deaths of the hurricane victims, as well as their fellow colleagues that died in the line of duty. Many developed posttraumatic stress, anxiety, depression, resulted in negative means of coping, and developed issues within their own family structure. The trauma experienced by the first responders caused many mental health implications for many of them. These findings highlight the importance of understanding how the trauma and crisis situations of others could affect those who are there to provide services and support.
Personal Trauma-Causing Event
In the media resource, “Interview with Dr. Ruth Moore”, a vital personal crisis situation was heavily discussed throughout the video. This was the aspects of Childhood Abuse Trauma. Dr. Moore shared several stories of her personal experiences working with childhood sexual abuse trauma and how it impacted her professional career. I truly admired Dr.Moore’s presentation. For I could completely relate, considering my own personal and professional experiences dealing with childhood trauma. Sadly, when most children suffer traumatic crises within earlier childhood, chances are if the identified issue was never addressed and didn’t receive the proper care those childhood issues will become very present within one’s adult life. As a future mental health counselor it is important to understand that children handle trauma differently than adults. This may cause several challenges for the practitioner, for many victims of childhood trauma are limited to how much they share due to possibly experiencing feelings of embarrassment, shame, and/or in fear of reoccurring offenses.