An 8-year-old girl expresses belief that a category 8 hurricane will hit on June 15. Two boys who lost their father during a bus crash that occurred while evacuating the city still won't speak about what happened.
Ten months after Katrina, its emotional effect on children is proving to be long and lasting. Two studies of children affected by the hurricane have found high rates of depression, anxiety, behavioral problems and post-traumatic stress disorder.
A Louisiana State University mental health screening of nearly 5,000 children in schools and temporary housing in the state found that 96 percent saw hurricane damage to their homes or neighborhoods, 22 percent had relatives or friends who were injured, 14 percent had relatives or friends who died, and 35 percent lost pets. Thirty-four percent were separated from their primary caregivers at some point; 9 percent still are. (WaPo)
No doubt these children will keep mental health clinicians in New Orleans and the surrounding areas busy for the next several years.