Combining Surveillance with Mental Health and Other Services

Hitting on what would eventually emerge as a major overarching workshop theme, one audience member emphasized the importance of balancing the need for good surveillance data with the need to generate data that are immediately useful to the people affected by the Deepwater Horizon disaster (i.e., people who “need help with very difficult and very personal decisions” about their circumstances). This led to discussion about the types of services needed and the challenges in providing those services, particularly mental health services. There was a comment about the lack of mental health services infrastructure in the region, which had not recovered from Hurricane Katrina. This was echoed by other remarks about the “overwhelming” mental health consequences of this disaster and the lack of sufficient community-based mental health services, particularly substance abuse services and services for children with developmental disabilities.



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