King Davis, Ph.D.
Duration: 11/01/07 – 9/30/08
Despite the immense tragedy that struck New Orleans with Hurricane Katrina, there is an opportunity to think anew about all aspects of mental health in the wake of this disaster. This project is designed to identify an alternative mental health approach for New Orleans that does not build exclusively on the pre-existing system. The approach and the process may be useful in other instances where a “clean slate” has been created by a natural disaster.
The project will convene ten respected professionals and experts from across a variety of disciplines to think anew about wide-ranging aspects of mental health/mental illness and how best to the needs of persons with mental illness and their families. The participants will be drawn from engineering, city planning, architecture, law, economics, clinical mental health, and research. The group will meet in New Orleans for a period of three days to discuss the critical questions. Prior to the meeting, the group will be provided readings, background information, research studies, and a working, albeit, a fluid agenda for the three day meeting. The meeting will culminate with a series of recommendations for design of a new mental health approach at the city and state level.
Following the meeting, the ten participants will converse by tele-conference and email to refine the set of recommendations.