United States

Bringing Help to Young Hurricane Victims

November 5, 2005

Dr. Martina Fuchs

The Real Medicine Foundation's Psycho-Trauma Teams have completed the first phase of our pilot project, using mobile quick-response teams for the psychological support and counseling of children affected by disasters, as well as their parents, caregivers, teachers and community members. The concept had been devised shortly after the 2004 tsunami, realizing how desperately psychological and emotional support for the victims was missing.

Working closely with the Superintendent of the Catholic Diocese of Memphis, Tennessee, Dr. Mary McDonald, we supported the approximately 330 displaced Gulf Coast children and their families that had been welcomed into the 29 schools of its school system. We worked with the principals and teachers as well as the parents, counselors and staff of the schools and provided a follow-up seminar for the counselors and educators of these schools in the week of October 17th.

Our teams in action…

Dr. Kevin Becker in conversation with Dr. Mary McDonald,
Superintendent of the Catholic School System in Memphis


Most important to establish after a disaster

Dr. Annie Farnsworth and counselors

We helped to develop personalized models to help the staff respond to and anticipate the needs of the students. Just in a conversation today, on November 8, Dr. Mary McDonald said that, with the provided tools, she and her staff are doing really well and feel confident to handle the upcoming challenges.

This project will serve as a model project for the planned future work of the Real Medicine Foundation's psycho-trauma team internationally.

At this point, we would like to provide resources for everybody, who is interested to read more about how to handle children's psychological and emotional challenges after disasters and traumata. We have made three informative PDFs available for download below.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions or if you feel we can be of service to your community or if you would like to specifically speak with one of our psycho trauma specialists: info@realmedicinefoundation.org

A PowerPoint presentation: Psycho Trauma Intervention Model, is available for download below.

During our time in Memphis, we learned about many children, who had lost all their toys in Hurricane Katrina and Rita. Our Real Medicine team members Lauren, Jade, Hana and Loren initiated a toy drive and we were able to distribute seven boxes filled with stuffed animals to the children in Memphis who had to evacuate from their homes and life as they knew it. Thank you to everybody who contributed, it was beautiful to see the children's joy! You can view a gallery of the event at the bottom of this page.

Thank you as well to Viraj for sending us hundreds of the Coloring Workbooks "After the Hurricane with Oscar!" They were highly appreciated.

And last, but not least, thank you with all our hearts to Margaret and Fred, Liz, Lillian and Kemper for your unbelievable generosity! We would not have been able to work without your support, you made a difference in the lives of many, many children and their families! And thank you to all of the wonderful people, you know who you are, who were with us on this journey, thank you thank you thank you!

Letter of Appreciation from Director of Counseling, Diocese of Memphis


Country Page: United States Initiative Page: Hurricane Katrina Relief Project