Our country will be feeling the aftershocks of the disaster called the Bush administration for generations.
A startling number of Gulf coast area children displaced by Hurricane Katrina still have serious emotional or behavioral problems five years later, a new study found. More than one in three children studied – those forced to flee their homes because of the August 2005 storm – have since been diagnosed with mental health problems. These are children who moved to trailer parks and other emergency housing.
Nearly half of families studied still report household instability, researchers said.
“If children are bellwethers of recovery, then the social systems supporting affected Gulf Coast populations are still far from having recovered from Hurricane Katrina,” the researchers said.
[…] About 500,000 people, including more than 160,000 children, weren’t able to return to their homes for at least three months after the storm hit on Aug. 29, 2005.
At least 20,000 of those children still have serious emotional disorders or behavior problems, or don’t have a permanent home, the report suggests.
“Five years after Katrina, there are still tens of thousands of children and their families who are still living in limbo with a significant toll on their psychological well-being,” said co-author Irwin Redlener, also with the Columbia center. In addition, he is president of the Children’s Health Fund, an advocacy group that paid for the study.
Without significant government help, Redlener said, these children are likely to have even greater problems as adults.