ERIC Number: ED336693
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
In the Eye of the Beholder: CMHC Reactions to Disaster.
Muzekari, Louis H.; And Others
In response to the Hurricane Hugo disaster, the South Carolina Department of Mental Health (SCDMH) deployed 10 percent of its workforce to serve as members of "Go Teams" that worked with the Charleston Area Community Mental Health Center (CACMHC) staff and provided crisis intervention services to the community. This study examined the response and reactions of mental health workers involved in providing services in the aftermath of a major disaster and during the course of the following year. Three separate groups comprised the sample for the study: (1) clinical and administrative CACMHC staff (N=84); (2) SCDMH "Go Team" members (N=130); and (3) members of the Hugo Outreach Support Team (HOST) who were hired to continue the work of the Go Team (N=24). Separate questionnaires were developed for each group reflecting specific features of the work each was performing in the community; however, all questionnaires had a high degree of overlap to allow for comparisons between groups. Questionnaire responses were collected at 2-, 8-, and 12-months post-hurricane. Overall, individuals tended to view themselves as better adjusted than other staff, community members, and clients at each assessment. Even one year following a disaster of this magnitude, mental health staff were still experiencing significant residual effects. However, recovery appeared to be following an orderly progressive process. It appears that the reactions of mental health staff were found to parallel those of individuals going through a grieving process. (LLL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Healing; Hurricane Hugo
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (99th, San Francisco, CA, August 16-20, 1991).