Abstract

The long-term nature of mental health needs after disasters, such as Hurricane Katrina, continues to require attention. Research that emerged during the anniversaries of the storm has shown Katrina and its aftermath to be associated with posttraumatic stress, depression, anxiety, disruptive behavior, and somatic complaints in children and adolescents. Ten years after one of the most devastating storms in U.S. history, lessons can be learned from mental health interventions designed to help children and families cope with trauma. This study takes a retrospective look at Classroom–Community Consultation (C3), a school-based referral model established months after Hurricane Katrina. Developed by Project Fleur-de-lis (PFDL), the largest school-based mental health program in New Orleans, the C3 model brought school-based mental health professionals together with PFDL staff in the community to triage students who needed intensive services. Within a case study framework, this study describes the evolution, impact, and implications of C3 from the perspective of five former C3 participants. Participants shared how and why they became involved with C3, the consultation they received, how C3 helped them grow as practitioners and connected them with additional resources, and implications for linking community-based and school-based mental health services to be better prepared for any disaster.

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