Community News
Va. Psychiatric Foundation Wins First APF Disaster-Related Grant
Psychiatric News
Volume 37 Number 5 page 8-8

The American Psychiatric Foundation (APF) recently announced that it has awarded a grant of $32,500 to the Psychiatric Society of Virginia Foundation (PSVF) to support a multifaceted public awareness campaign in Virginia about the mental health impact of the September 11 terrorist attacks.

The grant is the first award from APF’s recently established Disaster Services Fund, which was created to fund community-based programs that raise awareness of mental disorders resulting from the terrorist attacks. The Disaster Services Fund is supported by contributions from APA members and corporations.

The PSVF will work with the NBC affiliate in Richmond (NBC12, WWBT) to produce and broadcast two public service announcements that describe symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and direct those in need to seek out treatment. It is estimated that the public service announcements will reach 500,000 households in central Virginia. The PSAs will be supported by call-in segments on two evening newscasts in which mental health professionals will answer questions from callers about specific disorders and advise them where they can seek help.

The grant will also fund an outreach program conducted by members of the Psychiatric Society of Virginia for school guidance counselors and school administrators. This program will provide a review of symptoms of acute stress disorder (ASD) and PTSD in children and offer advice and resources for working with those affected. In addition, the grant will support an informational page on NBC12’s Web site at www.nbc12.com on ASD and PTSD, as well as suggested actions, resources, and links for help. The Kopolow Trauma Scale, a self-assessment for symptoms of PTSD, will be featured. During the campaign, these resources will be included in a special "Webwatch" report on NBC12’s morning news.

Those interested in making a contribution to support the Disaster Services Fund are asked to contact the APF at (202) 682-6246 or visit its Web site at www.PsychFoundation.org.

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