A School-Based Post-Katrina Therapeutic Intervention

  • Eliot E. Goldman
  • Daliah Bauer
  • Denise L. Newman
  • Elaine Kalka
  • John E. Lochman
  • Wendy K. Silverman
  • Peter S. Jensen
  • John Curry
  • Kevin Stark
  • Karen C. Wells
  • William M. Bannon
  • The Integrated Psychotheraphy Consortium
Original Article


The current study presents the implementation of a set of school based interventions in a greater New Orleans school district one year following Hurricane Katrina. The interventions included adaptation and implementation of evidence based treatments in a crisis situation with at-risk youth which involved training and clinical challenges. 386 students found to have significant depressive and/or disruptive disorder symptoms received treatment from the School Therapeutic Enhancement Program (STEP). Further, a district-wide mental health needs assessment of middle and high school students (N = 11,861) screened for behavioral and emotional difficulties at the beginning and end of the school year provided a benchmark for community youth’s emotional and behavioral distress. High-need intervention students demonstrated clinically significant lower levels of emotional and behavioral problems, depression and inattention in comparison to pre-treatment levels as indicated by multiple informants (i.e., self, parent, teacher). Self-reported distress levels were also lower than screening group students at post-test. These findings support the efficacy of a school-based intervention for youth struggling with the aftereffects of a highly disruptive natural disaster. Implications for utilizing a flexible adaptation of an evidence-based training model involving coaching and consultation are discussed.


Youth Mental Health Screening Group Treatment Developer Total Difficulty Score Community Youth 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



For the School Therapeutic Enhancement Program (STEP) was made possible by a Social Services Block Grant G-0601LASOSR, 2006 through the Administration for Children and Families, Department of Health and Human Services. The authors of this article thank the JPHSA social workers who implemented this treatment program, Angela Henry, MSW, Children’s Services Director, JPHSA and the children and families of Jefferson Parish. In addition, we thank Erum Nadeem, Ph.D, NYU Langone Medical Center for her help in the preparation of this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eliot E. Goldman
    • 1
  • Daliah Bauer
    • 2
  • Denise L. Newman
    • 3
  • Elaine Kalka
    • 2
  • John E. Lochman
    • 4
  • Wendy K. Silverman
    • 5
  • Peter S. Jensen
    • 6
  • John Curry
    • 7
  • Kevin Stark
    • 8
  • Karen C. Wells
    • 7
  • William M. Bannon
    • 9
  • The Integrated Psychotheraphy Consortium
  1. 1.The Department of PsychiatryColumbia University College of Physicians and SurgeonsRye BrookUSA
  2. 2.The Jefferson Parish Human Services Authority (JPHSA)MetairieUSA
  3. 3.The Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical MedicineNew OrleansUSA
  4. 4.The Department of PsychologyUniversity of AlabamaTuscaloosaUSA
  5. 5.The Child Study CenterYale School of MedicineNew HavenUSA
  6. 6.The REACH InstituteNew YorkUSA
  7. 7.The Duke University School of MedicineDurhamUSA
  8. 8.The University of Texas at AustinAustinUSA
  9. 9.William Bannon AssociatesBrooklynUSA

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