Treating Traumatized Children after Hurricane Katrina: Project Fleur-de Lis™
Project Fleur-de-lis™ (PFDL) was established to provide a tiered approach to triage and treat children experiencing trauma symptoms after Hurricane Katrina. PFDL provides school screening in schools in New Orleans and three tiers of evidence-based treatment (EBT) to disaster-exposed children utilizing a public health approach to meet the various needs of students referred to the program, some stemming from the disaster itself, some related to prior exposure to violence, and some relating to preexisting conditions and educational delays. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is funding a research project conducted in collaboration with PFDL, to examine two evidence-based practices for child PTSD in order to guide child treatment decisions after future disaster situations. This article describes the need for mental health services for children following disaster, the structure and purpose of PFDL, design of the NIMH project, two case descriptions of children treated within the project, and preliminary lessons learned.