Monday, 28 June 2010 16:04
Louisiana Wants 10M From BP For Mental Health
Written by 

On Monday, Governor Bobby Jindal's Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals Secretary issued this press release in relationship to the DeepWater Horizon Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

BATON ROUGE - In a letter to BP America's Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles on Monday, Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals Secretary Alan Levine requested $10 million from BP to provide mental health services to Louisiana residents affected by the oil spill.


The full text of the letter is below:

June 28, 2010

Doug Suttles
Chief Operating Officer
BP America Inc.
501 Westlake Park Blvd., WL1 - 25188
Houston, TX 77079

Dear Mr. Suttles:

We are following up on our May 28th letter, which identified critical near-term issues related to the oil spill, its impact on the people affected, and our request for BP to immediately establish a business and community impact mitigation fund. Included in that request was $10 million to help mitigate the behavioral health impacts of the spill on affected individuals and families. Our teams of counselors imbedded in the im! pacted communities are now warning us of an emerging behavioral health crisis, and we therefore believe it is critical we reassert our request in an effort to be assertive in the provision of services.

There exists anger, anxiety and uncertainty among the families and communities affected by the spill, which will easily manifest into addiction and various forms of mental health crisis if not confronted. Our Louisiana Spirit crisis counseling teams have already engaged and counseled almost 2,000 individuals in the affected areas, and are reporting palpable increases in anxiety, depression, stress, grief, excessive drinking, earlier drinking and suicide ideation. Community based organizations report similar findings. These are early warning signs of developing substance abuse and dependence, mental illness, suicide and familial breakdown including divorce, spouse abuse, and child abuse and neglect.

The effects of parental stress, anger, anxiety, s! ubstance abuse and mental illness are especially insidious on children . After Hurricane Katrina, an Urban Institute paper concluded the ability of parents to help their children feel calm and secure is compromised by their own uncertainty and loss. They found "...if parents remain in limbo themselves, and particularly if sadness, stress, or depression continue to color their interactions with their children, the risks of derailing children's development deepen." Numerous national studies confirm that children of parents with substance abuse disorders are more likely to experience physical, sexual, or emotional abuse or neglect than children in other households.

The requested $10 million will support six months of continued outreach activities of our department's Louisiana Spirit outreach teams, and provide a needed spectrum of therapeutic and psychiatric services through the locally governed human service districts and authorities and community based organizations. On behalf of the Greater New Orleans VOAD, Catholic Charities h! as submitted a separate request of $23,267,500 for six months - $3.2 million of which is identified for mental health services, with an additional request for Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes to follow in July. We are in full support of this request, which will provide critical mental health screening, education, crisis management and counseling services through organizations with strong community ties. These services complete the continuum needed to meet this crisis: Louisiana Sprit teams provide outreach and referrals to VOAD counseling and case management, and VOAD refers individuals and families with more severe mental health and addictive disorder needs to the locally governed and human service authorities.

The speed with which we can initiate these services will greatly affect the longer-term behavioral health needs and will reduce the long-term costs of what is certain to be an ongoing challenge. We know from Louisiana's experience after Hurricane Kat! rina how mental illness and substance abuse will progress in these com munities if left untreated, and that early and consistent behavioral health supports and treatment can help mitigate the longer-term social damage. We will work in partnership with GNO VOAD and other local community-based organizations to identify any future needs beyond this critical six-month period, and will certainly plan to communicate those to you as the case warrants.

Due to the urgency of this request, we ask for a response no later than one week from your receipt of this letter.

Sincerely,

Alan Levine
Secretary

 

Login to post comments
  • A July 4th Fact of Facts: America is Land of Immigrants
  • Poll: Trump strong on jobs, weak on tweets, viewed as reckless, thin-skinned, sexist
  • President Trump, It doesn't feel like Independence Day
  • YIPPIE! The naked truth about free speech, cherished especially on Independence Day

mass2On July 4, 1778, George Washington doubled liquor rations for the soldiers quartered in Princeton, NJ, as a way to celebrate Independence Day. It’s fitting, therefore, that the Fourth of July is America's top-selling beer holiday, according to the Beer Institute. It estimated, in 2013, that sales of beer on the 4th could total $1 billion, doubtlessly higher today. “In moderation,” claims a CA brewery investor, Grover McKean, “beer is tasty and healthy.” Who could disagree?

Read More

joe mikaAs Donald Trump faces the top world leaders this week, including a face-time with Vladimir Putin, and as his healthcare proposals face an uphill climb, his poll numbers for how the nation views him could be better.

According to a morning Consult/Politico poll released Wednesday morning, his tweets, including that against MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski, and his personality are not helping him, at all.

Read More

indy dayII know the calendar says we are approaching the 4th of July, but, it just doesn’t feel like Independence Day.

Perhaps it should.  It’s hot as heck.  The airlines have been packed. The hot dogs are ready for grilling.  The umps are saying, "play ball". The patriotic activities are scheduled. The fireworks are ready-for-blasting. 

Yet, it just doesn’t feel like independence day.

Read More

bill rights2To President Thomas Jefferson, July 4th celebrated more than the signing of the Declaration of Independence. He thought it was a link to the future. The message prominent colonists sent to King George III led to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, the initial and most prominent feature of which is the First Amendment that guarantees free speech. It’s part of the country’s fundamental essence that each man and woman can say what they feel about government, or anything else, proving President Donald Trump needs some civics lessons.

Read More

latter-blum2

Dead Pelican

Optimized-DeadPelican2 1 1