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September 12, 2008

ULM Educational Leadership and Counseling students provide mental health care to hurricane evacuees

Hurricane Gustav evacuees benefitted greatly from ULM’s Educational Leadership and Counseling Department.

Dr. Pamela Newman, a ULM professor in educational leadership and counseling as well as its new department head, said, “The ELC Department in the College of Education and Human Development has indeed been involved in serving the community and those in need during a time of crisis. Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy graduate students have worked with licensed counselors, marriage and family therapists, and their ULM professors to provide mental health services at shelters and help lines throughout the area.”

Region VIII Mental Health with Volunteers of America and LA ReEntry subcontracted with the ELC Department to provide transitional housing, mobile crisis intervention in the rural parishes and intensive outpatient services.

Students also found a way to assist Monroe residents whose homes were threatened by flooding. Ritchie Sheridan and Bill Riddle, ULM Marriage and Family Therapy Ph.D. students, leagued with MFT master’s student Tyler Hebert, assisting in filling sandbags. The three students visited a site to help their neighbors protect their property from rising waters, and ended up staying to help several families who were in immediate need of help.

Riddle said, "Sometimes volunteer relief efforts can appear quite chaotic, and while there was very little structure in the sandbagging warehouse, I was amazed at how quickly people organized themselves, uniting for the common purpose of helping one another, and doing it judiciously, respectfully and, I have to say, cheerfully."

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