Wednesday, May 22, 2013

APA Responds to Oklahoma Tornado

APA President Dilip Jeste, M.D., sent a message of support to the Oklahoma Psychiatric Physicians Association (OPPA) in the wake of the tornado that ripped through the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore on Monday. The tornado flattened much of the city of 55,000 and left at least 24 dead, according to local officials.

“APA offers its sympathies and support to all those affected by this unfortunate tragedy,” said Jeste. “We know our colleagues may be called upon to deal with the mental health consequences that may arise from this event, and we are confident that they will meet this challenge.”

In addition, APA’s Committee on Psychiatric Dimensions of Disasters sent the district branch information and links to resources about coping with the aftermath of disasters. The OPPA noted that recovery from a disaster as massive as this one will take a long time.

“In the days and months ahead, we encourage everyone affected to consider their emotional wounds and well-being and to speak with a doctor, a counselor, a clergyman, or your family to help the emotional healing begin,” said OPPA President Chariny Herring, D.O., and Brent Bell, D.O, chair of  the OPPA’s Disaster Committee.

Two books from American Psychiatric Publishing provide extensive information on responding to the mental health sequelae of disasters—Disaster Psychiatry: Readiness, Evaluation, and Treatment, and Care of Children Exposed to the Traumatic Effects of Disaster.


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