Medical University of South Carolina helps to establish National Center for Disaster Mental Health Research
| 12.05.2007 | 12:21:43 | Views: 4938 | ID:
December 5 '07: The Medical University of South Carolina, a National Congress partner, announced in a press release earlier this fall, that they would begin a five-year study on the effects of disasters on mental health through a federal grant totaling $3.89 million from the National Institutes of Health. The study would coincide with the creation of the National Center for Disaster Mental Health Research with the cooperation of Dartmouth Medical School, the University of Michigan, Yale University and the University of Oklahoma.
The new national center would help to "capitalize on the expertise of professionals around the country to establish a center that is methodically creative, capable of rapid response, and responsive to the needs of the scientific, policy, and practicioner communities," NCDMHR Director Fran Norris, Ph.D., from Dartmouth Medical School said in the press release."The new center's goal is two-fold," the release continued. "First, it seeks to establish the disaster research infrastructure needed to conduct a comprehensive research study of a major disaster. Once the infrastructure is in place, an actual study of a future natural disaster or terrorist attack can take place as it unfolds and in the long-term." Dean Kilpatrick, Ph.D, MUSC National Crime Victims' Center director and lead investigator said in the press release, "We can design and implement the most comprehensive study ever conducted on the mental health impacts of disasters. In addition to public health and biological studies of who develops problems and who is resilient after disasters, we will also be developing and testing new ways to prevent and treat disaster-related mental health problems." Many of the investigators from Dartmouth who will be working on the NCDMHR are affiliated with the current National Center for PTSD, while others from Michigan's School of Public Health are skilled in post-disaster epidemiology and survey research. Yale scientists have been credited with "expertise in the neurobiology of human stress response," and the University of Oklahoma's Health Sciences Center will help develop a child epidemiology and services research center inside the NCDMHR.
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