How to help victims of Hurricane Harvey and Irma

By Anthony Kassir

From the APA:

Dear Members of the APA,
We are continuing to monitor the impact of Hurricane Harvey and are closely watching the path of Hurricane Irma. We know from previous natural disasters that those affected have multiple service needs, even months and years after the traumatic event.
We also know that addressing the mental health of victims, families and communities is important. Using a social determinants of mental health model as a first step, we feel it is a priority to help people secure safety, housing/shelter, and food and water.
Several members have reached out to us about how they can help. The APA Foundation has created a fund to provide desperately needed services to those impacted by major disasters. To contribute, please visit the Foundation's Disaster Relief page.
If you're looking for a local charity to support in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, you may want to consider Houston Food Bank or Food Bank of Corpus Christi. These organizations are in the most-affected areas and are providing support to individuals. For a list of other reputable charities, please visit Charity Navigator.
If you want to assist, the Red Cross is recruiting health care volunteers to deploy to Texas and other areas that may be impacted by Irma. I encourage you to share this with colleagues who are interested. It is always best to deploy through an organization that has the experience and support to put you in the right location and team to maximize your contribution. The Office of the Governor temporarily suspended all necessary statutes and rules to allow health care providers employed by a hospital and licensed and in good standing in another state to practice in Texas to assist with the Tropical Depression Harvey disaster response operations.
APA continues to work closely with District Branches directly impacted by a disaster to provide resources and financial assistance. We want to remind District Branches and State Associations that they are eligible for the Lindemann Disaster Fund if they are impacted by a major event. The District Branch can apply for up to $10,000 to get a DB/SA operational or to help fund recovery efforts that the DB/SA is engaged in with APA members. We also have educational resources on the APA Disaster and Trauma page, including a link to disaster mental health training (online modules) from the American Red Cross:
Anita Everett, MD
American Psychiatric Association

Saul Levin, MD, MPA
CEO and Medical Director
American Psychiatric Association



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