San Antonio Mental Health Disaster Consortium: Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, A Personal Perspective

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Abstract

TOPIC

This is the personal perspective of the author's experience during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. As a member of a professional mental health volunteer organization, this chronicles 3 months' experience in the local shelters.

PURPOSE

Difficulties with organizational support and structure hampered the effectiveness and functioning of this volunteer organization in the shelters. To identify lessons learned from this experience.

CONCLUSIONS

It is essential to identify where each mental health volunteer group fits into the organizational structure and what the role of each is. Volunteers need to be scheduled and relieved at regular intervals to rest so as to prevent stress reactions.

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