Ads Encourage Hurricane Survivors To Seek Help
Although the floodwaters receded more than a year ago,
tears are still falling for many survivors of the devastating
Gulf Coast hurricanes of 2005.
The headline reads, “A
year after the hurricane, all the water still hasn’t
receded.” SAMHSA is encouraging survivors
to seek mental health services.
Print ads from SAMHSA and the
Ad Council on the 1-year anniversary of Hurricane
Katrina feature a closeup photograph of a survivor’s
That’s the story told by one of the new national
print and billboard advertisements recently launched
by SAMHSA and the Ad Council to encourage hurricane survivors
to seek mental health services as the Nation marks the
1-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
The anniversary of the disaster may trigger the reappearance
of the same emotions that survivors experienced immediately
following the hurricanes.
“The new public service ads, from SAMHSA’s
Hurricane Mental Health Awareness Campaign, offer a doorway
to help for survivors who are still struggling with the
emotional toll of last year’s hurricanes,”
said Assistant Surgeon General Eric B. Broderick, D.D.S.,
M.P.H., SAMHSA’s Acting Deputy Administrator.
Launched last fall, the campaign is designed to help
the adults, children, and first responders who may be
in need of mental health services.
Research on the mental health consequences of disasters
shows that the psychological effects of the 2005 hurricanes
can be long lasting. (See SAMHSA News, November/December
2005 and July/August
Individuals displaced by the storms lost their homes,
schools, communities, places of worship, daily routines,
social support, personal possessions, and more.
In some cases, these losses were amplified by the loss
of loved ones. Even now, some survivors still remain
separated from families and friends.
health experts and recent studies have revealed that
hurricane victims continue to suffer from the devastating
losses they experienced last year,” said Peggy
Conlon, President and Chief Executive Officer of The
Advertising Council, SAMHSA’s partner in this nationwide
mental health effort.
These public service announcements are part of a larger
effort by SAMHSA and the Federal Emergency Management
Agency (FEMA) to provide mental health recovery services
to persons affected by the hurricanes. To date, nearly
$110 million in mental health services grants have been
awarded through this effort (see SAMHSA News,
The print, television, and radio ads—distributed
to media outlets nationwide during the last week of August—encourage
survivors to take time to check on how they and their
families are doing.
Confidential toll-free numbers are available:
Trained professionals are on the line to assist with
information and referrals to local mental health services.
For more information on SAMHSA’s campaign, or
to view the public service ads, visit www.samhsa.gov/News/hurricane06psa.aspx.
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