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Latest News Around the Web

APA President Describes Most Common Stress-Related Reactions To Disasters

The AP (9/5, Sharon Cohen |, Ap) reports, “Some of the most common stress-related reactions to disasters such as Harvey are anxiety, a change in appetite, insomnia and a sense of uncertainty…according to Dr. Anita Everett, president of the American Psychiatric Association.” Dr. Everett said, “It’s a little bit like a grieving process.” She added, “We sort of expect that there’s going to be waves of worry, waves of anxiety and that’s all within the normal experience.” Still, Dr. Everett “says that those who are struggling three months after a disaster and can’t work or make decisions may want to seek professional help.”

Related Links:

— “Harvey began with raging winds, but its legacy will be water,” Sharon Cohen, Associated Press via Washington Post, September 5, 2017.

Public Health Experts Worry About Long-Term Consequences Of Hurricane Harvey

The New York Times (8/31, Carroll, Frakt, Subscription Publication) reports on the likely long-term health consequences for people living in communities impacted by Hurricane Harvey, particularly its associated floods. Hurricanes and floods are associated with more than just the expected immediate death toll; such disasters frequently lead to an increase in nonlethal injuries, waterborne illnesses, communicable diseases, sanitation problems, and increase in depression rates, chronic heart and respiratory illnesses, and other health issues that lead to a higher mortality rate in flooded areas for month after the waters recede.

The Times concludes, “Everyone is understandably focused on the immediate dangers from flooding. But analysis of previous natural disasters shows that Harvey’s survivors will need attention and care far into the future.”

Related Links:

— “The Long-Term Health Consequences of Hurricane Harvey,” AARON E. CARROLL and AUSTIN FRAKT, New York Times, August 31, 2017.

DACA Eligibility Of Mother Impacts Child’s Mental Health

The Huffington Post (8/31, Pearson) reports a study examining the impact of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) on the children of “dreamers” found that children’s mental health improved when their mothers were considered eligible for the program. Prior to DACA, diagnoses for mental illnesses induced or exacerbated by external stressors “were roughly even”; but after DACA, children’s mental health issue rates “dropped from 7.8 percent to 3.3 percent.”

Related Links:

— “DACA Has Profound Mental Health Benefits For Children Of Dreamers,” Catherine Pearson, Huffington Post, August 31, 2017.

Older Chinese-Americans Who Endured Discrimination More Likely To Have Suicidal Thoughts

The Huffington Post (8/31, Yam) reports older Chinese-Americans impacted by “prejudice and racial bias” were twice as likely to have suicidal thoughts compared to those who did not experience discrimination, according to a study published in The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. Most respondents said they suffered discrimination in public spaces, and many said they also faced it in work environments.

Related Links:

— “Older Chinese-Americans Who’ve Faced Bias Are More Likely To Have Suicidal Thoughts,” Kimberly Yam, Huffington Post, August 31, 2017.

Harvey May Cause Some Victims Of Previous Flooding Disasters To Experience Symptoms Of PTSD

USA Today (8/26, O’Donnell) reported on the mental health impacts Hurricane Harvey may have on those “who survived Hurricane Katrina 12 years ago or last August’s flood in Louisiana,” even if these survivors are not in the path of Harvey. In some cases, people may be “more likely to experience symptoms associated with post-traumatic stress disorder.”

Related Links:

— “Harvey can be hazardous to your mental health, even if you aren’t in path of the storm,” Jayne O’Donnell, USA Today, August 26, 2017.

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