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Disaster Preparedness and Management in the Caribbean: The Need for Psychological Support

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Research on mental health outcomes following mass trauma is relatively new to the Caribbean. Data are being analyzed with respect to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in children following Hurricane Ivan in 2004 in Jamaica (A Pottinger: personal communication). Further, a 2003 study has cited what appeared to be a significant increase in anxiety and depressive symptoms among the elderly population in Montserrat following the volcanic eruptions (3). Studies elsewhere have suggested that children and the elderly may be at particular risk (4, 5). For the elderly, a decline in their physical health was noted for persons who resided near to disaster sites, although a short-term improvement in cognitive functioning was also found (4).

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e-Published: 05 Jun, 2013
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