LSU Health Sciences Center's Department of Psychiatry is assessing the long-term mental health needs of residents affected by the Deepwater Horizon explosion and the oil disaster that followed. The Louisiana Department of Social Services began psychosocial assessments in St. Bernard, Plaquemines, Lafourche and Terrebonne parishes Aug. 15. About 1,500 assessments of adults will be conducted over the telephone and in-person over the next two months.
The interviews will cover demographics, general health, substance abuse, mental health status, anger and stress levels. Participants will receive referrals or information about resources when needed. LSU expects to conduct a series of assessments over time for a comprehensive analysis of the psychosocial effects of the oil disaster to help state and local providers identify resources and assemble collaborations to meet needs.