Assessing the Serious Mental Illness of Katrina Affected Parishes in Louisiana: Results from the K6 Scale as Applied in the 2006 Louisiana Health and Population Survey

Susan Bergson, Louisiana Public Health Institute
Maria Sirois, Tulane University
Lisanne Brown, Tulane University
Sarah Hoffpauir, Louisiana Public Health Institute
Greg Stone, Louisiana Public Health Institute
Erin Bertschy, National Network of Public Health Institutes (NNPHI)
Clayton Williams, Louisiana Public Health Institute

In 2005, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita dramatically impacted mental health in Louisiana. The Louisiana Health and Population Survey shows that behavioral health service needs exceeded system capacity in 2006. Weighted survey data from 1633 adult respondents was analyzed for the prevalence of serious mental illness (SMI) in six parishes. SMI was higher in Orleans (18.8%), Jefferson (6.3%), Plaquemines (9.5%), Saint Bernard (19.1%), Cameron (16.7%), and Calcasieu (7.2%) Parishes compared to the nation (3.0%) and Gulf Coast (6.1%). Age, parish, and employment status were associated with SMI by multiple regression. Adults with SMI were less likely to access any form of care post-storm [OR = 7.063 (95% CI = 2.706-18.435)]. Solutions for behavioral health needs in the greater New Orleans region include a coalition of behavioral health stakeholders in a patient-centered network of primary care clinics and behavioral health services. These services integrate referral and health information systems with disease registries.

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Presented in Session 114: Mental Health Consequences of Hurricane Katrina on Affected Populations