Original Paper

Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research

, Volume 36, Issue 3, pp 159-164

First online:

Innovations in Disaster Mental Health Services and Evaluation: National, State, and Local Responses to Hurricane Katrina (Introduction to the Special Issue)

  • Fran H. NorrisAffiliated withNational Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, VAMC (116D)Dartmouth Medical School Email author 
  • , Craig S. RosenAffiliated withNational Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, VAMC (116D)Stanford University School of Medicine

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The severe consequences of Hurricane Katrina on mental health have sparked tremendous interest in improving the quality of mental health care for disaster victims. In this special issue, we seek to illustrate the breadth of work emerging in this area. The five empirical examples each reflect innovation, either in the nature of the services being provided or in the evaluation approach. Most importantly, they portray the variability of post-Katrina mental health programs, which ranged from national to state to local in scope and from educational to clinical in intensity. As a set, these papers address the fundamental question of whether it is useful and feasible to provide different intensities of mental health care to different populations according to presumed need. The issue concludes with recommendations for future disaster mental health service delivery and evaluation.


Disaster mental health services Hurricane Katrina