The Oil Disaster: Potential Mental Health Catastrophe


The Oil Disaster: Potential Mental Health Catastrophe


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One of the most immediate effects of Gulf of Mexico oil disaster is getting less play than environmental and physical health effects: the potential mental health catastrophe. Local residents, hit with economic disaster and already suffering cumulative stress of past disasters like Hurricane Katrina, are already exhibiting signs of mental health stres. This could turn into a full-fledged mental health disaster if the situation is not taken in hand. Linda McCauley, Dean of Emory University's Nell Hogdson Woodruff School of Nursing, discusses the potential mental health impact of this disaster. About Linda McCauley Linda McCauley, PhD, FAAN, RN, FAAOHN, is Dean of Emory University's Nell Hogdson Woodruff School of Nursing and a renowned environmental health expert. Her expertise includes the psychological stress of the spill and its toll on the population, the massive cleanup needed and the lack of preparation and education of the workers who will be called in to do this work, and the need to monitor exposures not only to the oil and its byproducts, but the chemicals that will be used to clean the environment. McCauley will participate in an Institute of Medicine (IOM) workshop exploring the long- and short-term health effects of the Gulf Oil disaster. Related Links Emory Environmentalist Explores Oil Spill's Health Risks at IOM Workshop (Press Release) http://shared.web.emory.edu/whsc/news/releases/2010/06/emory-environmentalist-explores-oil-spills-health-risks.html Assessing the Human Health Effects of the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill (Institute of Medicine Workshop) http://www.iom.edu/Activities/PublicHealth/OilSpillHealth.aspx


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