topics Policy Research Hurricane Harvey Impact on Child & Youth Mental Health

Hurricane Harvey Impact on Child & Youth Mental Health

Hurricanes and other natural disasters can have long and harmful effects on the mental health of children, youth, and adults. Based on the latest epidemiological research on the effects of disasters on mental health, the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute (MMHPI) has estimated that we should expect to see significantly higher rates of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental illnesses for children and youth in the Harvey-affected regions, with dramatically higher rates in those that experienced the most destruction.

Unfortunately, most of the research on the rates of mental health needs following hurricanes has been based on Hurricane Katrina and other severe events. While, in many ways, the scope of overall destruction was comparable between Harvey and Katrina, there were also important differences (such as a much higher loss of life in Katrina). In this white paper we outline a pattern of increasing rates of mental health needs over time and list common behavioral reactions among children and youth.

Read or download the full white paper Hurricane / Tropical Storm Harvey Impact on Child and Youth Mental Health.