Grief and Hurricane Katrina Term Paper by Nicky

A community mental health disaster plan for disasters like hurricane Katrina.
# 149830 | 1,817 words | 6 sources | APA | 2011 | US
Published on Jan 02, 2012 in Political Science (State and Local Politics) , Psychology (General)

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The paper discusses the failure of the system in New Orleans to provide for mental health services after Katrina and shows how communities need to go beyond focusing on the provision of basic needs during disasters to pay attention to grief and mental health issues. The paper presents a disaster plan that includes the need to establish mental health services as soon after the disaster as possible, the need to assess the capacity of local agencies that are already in existence, the role of partnerships, memorials and rituals and the identification of at-risk populations.

Resolving Katrina Grief
Community Action Perspective

From the Paper:

"Grief is a natural part of loss. Of course, the first actions that were taken on a community level have to do with preservation of life and the provision of necessities. However, once, the "crisis" is over and basic needs have been met, it is time to focus on the emotional needs of the community. In a natural disaster like Katrina, grief is a shared experience. Providing grief support is an essential part of the community plan. Although, most will recover without any intervention and be able to return to normal in a few weeks, approximately 4-5% will develop more serious symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) (National Center for PTSD, 2005) In addition, about 9% of the victims will develop more serious chronic grief symptoms (National Center for PTSD, 2005). This is why community response to grief is so important. The goal of community action is to reduce the incidence of long-term grief symptoms.
"After Katrina, New Orleans was virtually paralyzed, with their best-made plans floating away with the rising water. Once the immediate danger was over, the grief for those that had lost loved ones and their homes set in. Shock puts emotions in hold so that the body can deal with the immediate crisis (Frantz, 2005). A priority is placed on basic needs, but once the crisis is over and the initial shock begins to fade, the first emotion that many experience is anger (Frantz, 2005). For Katrina victims, this meant community-wide anger and a community-wide grief reaction. The anger eventually leads to the sadness that represents the next stage of grief (Frantz, 2005)."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Frantz, T. (2005). Anger Beginning of Untold Grief by Katrina's Victims. September 6, 2005. University of Buffalo. News Center. Retrieved July 7, 2009 from
  • Gennaro, N. (2006). Free Help for grieving victims of Katrina. January 14, 2006. What Matters. Retrieved July 7, 2009 from
  • Hardcastle, D & Powers, P. (2004). Community Practice: Theories and Skills for Social Workers. 2nd edition. Oxford University Press US.
  • "Hurricane Katrina emergency hotlines and assistance" (2006). Retrieved July 7, 2009 from
  • National Center for PTSD. (2005). Effects of Traumatic Stress in a Disaster Situation. Last Updated July 8, 2005. Retrieved July 6, 2009 from

Cite this Term Paper:

APA Format

Grief and Hurricane Katrina (2012, January 02) Retrieved March 04, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Grief and Hurricane Katrina" 02 January 2012. Web. 04 March. 2021. <>