Mental health advocates and professionals: The broadcast of The Infinite Mind's program, "The Road to Recovery," (airing nationally the week starting September 14, 2005), provides a unique and ongoing opportunity for your local mental health organization to reach out to your community through your local public radio station.
This program focuses on the critical need for community mental health services and the impact that Hurricane Katrina will have on the nation's mental health care system. The special also highlights the severe Medicaid cuts being proposed, and the impact they would have on U.S. mental health care services. Together, they provide an important chance for you and your group to work with your local public station to localize these stories.
THE INFINITE MIND SPECIAL REPORTS
The Infinite Mind presents the second in our series of special reports on the psychological impact of Hurricane Katrina. Last week we looked at conditions “In the Wake of the Storm.” This week, The Infinite Mind continues its coverage with “The Road to Recovery,” airing the week starting September 14th, 2005.
With thousands dead, tens of thousands homeless and a mass exodus from the Gulf Coast, what can we expect the impact will be over the next few months. What will it take for the nation to heal?
"The Road to Recovery," features the nation’s top psychiatrist, Dr.Thomas Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, who discusses the impact of Hurricane Katrina, and says "let's rebuild the mental health system, and do it better."
Also, historian James Gregory takes us back 70 years to a time when hundreds of thousands of Oklahoma residents fled natural disaster and wandered the country in search of a better life. He identifies a growing concern about the sustainability of America's sympathy, based on the history of public sentiment about migrants of all backgrounds in previous times.
We hear from sociologist Betty Morrow, who specializes in disaster recovery, about the experiences of those affected by Hurricane Andrew. She says Katrina victims will need lots of help and that the nation is likely to forget about them in a short while.
We also speak with the directors of the National Center for Post Traumatic Stress and the National Center for Child Traumatic Stress, Drs. Matthew Friedman and Alan Steinberg, and examine mental health right now and expectations for the coming months. They provide helpful tips for self and family care. And we take a trip to Poccotola, Mississippi where a remarkable camp has been set up to shelter and treat the families with autistic children who survived the hurricane.
Plus, commentary from John Hockenberry.
This special report comes at a time when Congress is considering a proposal to slash Medicaid spending for mental health services, which would devastate community mental health care delivery, forcing hundreds of programs across the country to close. The pressure from the disaster on an already over-stressed mental health system, coupled with additional budget cuts, would affect virtually every community in the U.S.
REACH OUT AND LOCALIZE THE STORIES
This special program gives your mental health organization the opportunity to reach out to your local public radio station and media outlets to discuss critical issues, such as the need for community mental health services and the impact that the disaster will have on the nation's mental health care system. Perhaps most importantly, the programs provide an opportunity to focus attention on the growing concerns over the proposed federal budget cuts. You can also contact local press and media and urge them to cover these important issues from a local perspective.
To help with this effort, contact the program director or program manager at your local public radio station, together you can work to localize the these important mental health issues. For example, the national broadcast of the shows can be followed in your area by roundtable or call-in discussions about the local impact of Hurricane Katrina. An airing of the program could also be coordinated with a campaign of public service announcements about where to turn for support and services in your city or town, or serve as a kick-off for a series of local news stories about the impact of the proposed federal cutbacks.
Here are some sample questions to help facilitate discussions about how these issues impact your community:
What will be the effect of Hurricane Katrina on the nation’s mental health care system? What impact will Hurricane Katrina have on your local mental health organizations and services?
How will proposed federal funding cuts to Medicaid affect mental health services in communities around the country? What does that mean for mental health services in your community?
What preparations has your community made for surviving and recovering from a disaster and what role does mental health care play in the process?
To find the station in your area that airs The Infinite Mind, visit www.LCMedia.com/stations.htm or contact LCM's outreach coordinator, Anna T. O'Neal at 617-682-3709 (toll free: 877-765-6610) or email Anna@LCMedia.com If your local public radio station is not listed, click here for a printable list of all public radio stations. The Infinite Mind is free for unlimited airplay by all public radio stations, and CD's are available for those stations not connected to the Public Radio Satellite System.