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Public Mental Health: The Role of Population-Based and Macrosystems Interventions in the Wake of Hurricane Katrina


Policy makers and decision makers are struggling to recognize the needs of shattered communities in the wake of unimaginable devastation. Professional psychology is providing some of the answers as it examines the consequences of disaster. The authors, 6 U.S. Public Health Service commissioned officers, describe their experiences in this new arena. Working at the federal, state, and local levels of government during the national response to the Hurricane Katrina disaster, the authors strive to identify high-value practice areas and define new roles for professional psychologists. The authors suggest that traditional crisis and trauma interventions are expanding to include nontraditional population-based and macrosystems-level interventions. Such roles are explored in narrative form, providing professional and personal insight into the impact that psychologists can have on decision makers who recognize their value and position them effectively. © 2008 American Psychological Association.

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