[StBernard] LSUHSC awarded $1.6M for trauma work

Westley Annis westley at da-parish.com
Tue Oct 21 20:08:35 EDT 2008

LSUHSC awarded $1.6M for trauma work

Posted: Tuesday, October 21, 2008 10:43 am

The Department of Psychiatry at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans
School of Medicine has been awarded a grant in the amount of $1,596,316 over
four years by the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration of
the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The funding will support
the expansion of services of LSUHSC's Louisiana Rural Trauma Services Center
to children and families in the three parishes most devastated by Hurricane
Katrina - Orleans, St. Bernard and Plaquemines, with additional emphasis on
families of military deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, most of whom were
also affected by Katrina. The principal investigator of the grant is Joy
Osofsky, Ph.D., Professor of Pediatrics, Psychiatry, and Public Health and
Head, Division of Pediatric Mental Health in the Department of Pediatrics at
LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans. The co-principal investigator is
Howard Osofsky, MD, PhD, Professor and Chairman of Psychiatry at LSU Health
Sciences Center New Orleans.

The target population for this project is children and adolescents, ages
three-18 years and their families, in schools in St. Bernard School
District, Plaquemines School District, and New Orleans Public and Recovery
District School Districts as well as the Belle Chasse Academy at the Naval
Air Station, Joint Reserve Base - the first-ever charter school on a
military installation.

The grant will provide several types and levels of training. For disaster
preparedness for future hurricanes, training workshops will be offered in
schools for 400 school personnel and for parents on the Effects of Trauma on
Children and Psychological First Aid. Training workshops for military
personnel will be provided on Families Overcoming and Coping Under Stress
(FOCUS) through the Naval Air Station, Joint Reserve Base and Louisiana
National Guard for counselors, school personnel, families and chaplains.
Two learning collaboratives on evidence-based trauma focused services will
be implemented: for 100 providers in the three parishes; and 40 providers
working with young children in schools, Head Start, Early Head Start, child
care centers, and mental health clinics. Because of the extent of the
devastation and complexity of recovery, training and service models will be
adapted, modified for cultural sensitivity, and implemented to meet needs at
this time.

Direct services include screening for 12 schools - three in St. Bernard,
three in Plaquemines, five in Orleans, and one serving military children to
be selected by the school systems and districts as those most in need of
services. Follow-up evaluations for children and adolescents identified by
the screening, self-referred, or referred by schools, parents, or other
child-serving professionals will be conducted. Treatment services for
military families will be provided for 200 students each year. Additional
training and consultation will be provided for schools and communities
related to identified needs. The learning collaboratives will increase
availability of trauma-focused services in the region.

At the request of schools and school districts, LSUHSC's Louisiana Rural
Trauma Services Center has screened approximately 11,000 students in fourth
through twelfth grades in schools in Orleans, St. Bernard, and Plaquemines
parishes since November 2005. These screenings have been done about every
six months since Hurricane Katrina to assess the changing needs of
traumatized students. The screening assessments have been used to inform
schools about the mental health needs of displaced and returning children
and adolescents at various points in time and to work with them to design
appropriate services to meet their needs. In 2005-2006, 49 percent of
students met the National Child Traumatic Stress Network criteria for
referral for mental health services. In 2006-2007, 46 percent of students in
the most devastated areas met criteria for mental health services. Twelve
percent of students in both years independently requested counseling
services. Twenty-nine percent of younger children met the cut-off for mental
health services; 36 percent of their parents requested counseling.

LSUHSC's Louisiana Rural Trauma Services Center, a member of the National
Child Traumatic Stress Network, was funded from 2003-2007 and successfully
introduced trauma focused training and services in three rural parishes in
Louisiana- St. John, St. James, and West Feliciana.

More information about the StBernard mailing list