"Children of the Storm"
> 8/28/2006 1:22:13 PM

The one year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina has come and gone. But as we've detailed in this space before, many of the storm's injuries continue to swell in its aftermath. The New York Times Magazine ran a particularly stirring photo essay this weekend. Entitled "Children of the Storm," it tells the stories of the young residents of New Orleans that have returned with their families to face the destruction.

Dr. Claude Chemtob, in his video interview with us, talked a great deal about facing the mental health problems that arise in the wake of disaster. Depression, post traumatic stress disorder and anxiety issues are common among children, who often lack the experience and knowledge to place the storms terror into perspective. Katrina has wreaked havoc on adults with levels of depression, suicide and other mental health issues, way above pre-storm levels. It only makes sense that children would also be greatly effected.

As Jason DeParle writes in his essay that also ran in this weekend's Times Magazine:

The resilience of children is a potent force — “a little bit like having God on your side,” the psychoanalyst Selma Fraiberg observed decades ago. How well children recover depends in part on the parents from whom they take their cues, drawing strength from strength or angst from angst. The quicker adults settle into homes and jobs, the quicker they settle their kids. But the adults of New Orleans are anything but settled. Every teacher in town knows a child hiding his emotions to protect a troubled parent; psychologists call it “parentification.” It’s hard to avoid the impression that there’s a lot of parentification going on.

Katrina's legacy is proving to be a formidable foe, at all levels. Watching the multimedia presentation and listening to the voices of the children in New Orleans helps bring a very human side to this story. As many have said and written before us, it is nearly impossible to comprehend the size of the disaster that has torn the entire region apart. While we would not presume to be able to do it justice, we would ask that you check out this multimedia experience and encourage others to do the same.

To see "Children of the Storm," click here and then use the link.

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