Around the gulf, social service providers are dealing with a rising tide of mental health crises. Groups of Baptists are deploying extra chaplains in parishes along the coast. In southern Louisiana, where the impact was felt first, about 1,500 people have received counseling services from Catholic Charities.
From past disasters, such as the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989, health experts say they expect subtle problems to appear as people absorb the spill’s impact on their lives: depression, anxiety, alcohol and drug abuse, and domestic issues.
“We’re seeing already an increase in suspiciousness, arguing, domestic violence. . . . We’re already having reports of increased drinking, anxiety, anger and avoidance,” Howard J. Osofsky of the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans said during a two-day hearing this week on the physical and emotional impact of the spill.
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Continue reading WaPo: Apparent suicide by fishing boat captain underlines oil spill’s emotional toll
San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance that will require cell phone retailers to disclose to customers the phones’ specific absorption rate, or SAR. Mayor Newsom has indicated he will sign the measure into law.
SAR measures the amount of radiation emitted by the phone that is absorbed by the body.
Renee Sharp, the California director of the Washington-based Environmental Working Group, said she hoped the law would dissuade consumers from buying relatively high radiation phones until their effect on the human body is fully understood.
Under the law, larger retailers would be required to place SAR notices starting February. The law would apply to other stores beginning in 2012.
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Continue reading AP: San Francisco board passes cell phone emissions law
The leader of the Pentagon’s premiere program for treatment and research into brain injury and post traumatic stress disorders has unexpectedly stepped down from her post. Brig. Gen. Loree Sutton told staff members at the Defense Centers of Excellence on Monday that she was giving up her position as director.
Continue reading ProPublica: Leader of Military’s Program to Treat Brain Injuries Steps Down Abruptly
Among McChrystal’s staff, described by Rolling Stone as consisting of a “handpicked collection of killers, spies, geniuses, patriots, political operators and outright maniacs”, is a former head of Britain’s special forces.
Continue reading Guardian: Ex-SAS man recruited to General Stanley McChrystal’s team likely to leave with him