Mental health services are part of BP spill deal
A $14.4 million share of the BP oil spill settlement will bring mental health counselors to coastal areas of Louisiana and three other states affected by the 2010 disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. The LSU Health Sciences Center, the University of Southern Mississippi, the University of South Alabama, the University of West Florida, Tulane University and the Louisiana Public Health Institute will partner on the five-year program. They'll train and send mental health experts to communities to work with doctors, at local clinics and at other sites. It's one of four projects included in the estimated $7.8 billion settlement reached in May by London-based oil giant BP and a committee of plaintiffs. The settlement has received preliminary approval from a federal judge. Dr. Harold Osofsky, chairman of psychiatry at the LSU Health Sciences Center, says the program consolidates expertise in the affected states and is designed to deal with mental health issues lingering from the nation's worst offshore oil disaster. Read the complete story here.
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