Russell T. Jones, Ph.D.

Licensed Clinical Psychologist                    Trauma Expert

Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane Katrina, Gulf Coast

After Hurricanes Katrina and Rita ravaged the states of Louisiana and Mississippi, Dr. Jones was deployed to the area for the SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) mental health consultant group. Reaching the area less than three weeks after the disaster, Dr. Jones traveled to both Louisiana and later to Gulfport, Mississippi where he served as a team leader. Since then Dr. Jones has traveled to the area on five occasions. His work in the area has included visits to schools, disaster recovery centers, and state offices.

Most notably, Dr. Jones met with First Lady Laura Bush and Pastor R. Dennis Watson in Baton Rouge, La. at Celebration Church outside Baton Rouge, where they and other officials participated in a briefing discussing conditions and needs of children affected by Katrina.  Dr. Jones was called upon by the White House to help prepare the first lady prior to her visit with children displaced by Hurricane Katrina.

Dr. Jones has made numerous trips to the Gulf Coast to assist in disaster relief efforts since Katrina struck last August. He led the first crisis counseling team of its kind to the hardest-hit regions of Mississippi. 

Dr. Jones and team members at the Gulf Coast Mental Health Center ; Gulfport, MS

Hurricane Katrina Community Advisory Group

Dr. Jones had also been appointed to the Hurricane Katrina Community Advisory Group administered by the Department of Health Care Policy at the Harvard Medical School. This group conducted a random national survey of 250,000 homes (funded by the National Institute on Mental Health) to ascertain the mental health consequences of the hurricanes. The researchers identified a cohort of approximately 2000 individuals directly affected and displaced by the hurricanes and followed them for 2 years to assess their level of coping with physical and mental health issues, as well as the logistical difficulties associated with relocating or returning to some sense of a normal routine. 

Further Reading / Selected Readings

Book Chapter