Magazine article Diverse Issues in Higher Education

George Mason University Team Offers Counseling Services to Katrina Victims

Magazine article Diverse Issues in Higher Education

George Mason University Team Offers Counseling Services to Katrina Victims

Article excerpt

FAIRFAX, VA.

George Mason University Counseling and Development Program faculty and graduate students in the Counselors Without Borders Project served as the nation's first counseling student assistance program for victims of Hurricane Katrina during their one-week assignment.

The supervised students provided counseling services from Nov. 17-23 to two Mississippi communities devastated by the hurricane. The students were housed in local churches and received meals from the local community.

The project received logistical support from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Mississippi Mental Health Counselors Association and the Mississippi Department of Mental Health, and helped address the unmet mental health needs of the victims of Katrina.

The program was created to help respond to a gap in service delivery related to current regulations for mental health providers. Under current rules, providers must be licensed in a mental health discipline and stay on-site for a minimum of two weeks.

The project served as a national pilot program that aims to more effectively address the underserved mental health needs in the Gulf Coast, primarily focused on the psychological devastation associated with the loss of home, family, possessions, jobs, community and security. …

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