Original Paper

Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research

, Volume 36, Issue 3, pp 186-194

First online:

Factors Predicting Crisis Counselor Referrals to Other Crisis Counseling, Disaster Relief, and Psychological Services: A Cross-Site Analysis of Post-Katrina Programs

  • Craig S. RosenAffiliated withNational Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Stanford University School of Medicine
  • , Monica M. MatthieuAffiliated withSt. Louis VA Medical Center, Center for Mental Health Services Research, Washington University in St. Louis, George Warren Brown School of Social Work
  • , Fran H. NorrisAffiliated withNational Center for Posttraumatic Stress DisorderDartmouth Medical School Email author 

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An important aspect of crisis counseling is linking survivors with services for their unmet needs. We examined determinants of referrals for disaster relief, additional crisis counseling, and psychological services in 703,000 crisis counseling encounters 3–18 months after Hurricane Katrina. Referrals for disaster relief were predicted by clients’ losses, age (adults rather than children), and urbanicity. Referrals for additional counseling and psychological services were predicted by urbanicity, losses and trauma exposure, prior trauma, and preexisting mental health problems. Counseling and psychological referrals declined over time despite continuing mental health needs. Results confirm large urban–rural disparities in access to services.


Disaster mental health services Hurricane Katrina