• Journal Article

Behavioral Health in the Gulf Coast Region Following the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: Findings from Two Federal Surveys

Citation

Gould, D. W., Teich, J. L., Pemberton, M., Pierannunzi, C., & Larson, S. (2015). Behavioral Health in the Gulf Coast Region Following the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: Findings from Two Federal Surveys. Journal of Behavioral Health Services and Research, 42(1), 6-22. DOI: 10.1007/s11414-014-9441-8

Abstract

This article summarizes findings from two large-scale, population-based surveys conducted by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the Gulf Coast region following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, to measure the prevalence of mental and substance use disorders, chronic health conditions, and utilization of behavioral health services. Although many area residents undoubtedly experienced increased levels of anxiety and stress following the spill, findings suggest only modest or minimal changes in behavioral health at the aggregate level before and after the spill. The studies do not address potential long-term effects of the spill on physical and behavioral health nor did they target subpopulations that might have been most affected by the spill. Resources mobilized to reduce the economic and behavioral health impacts of the spill on coastal residents-including compensation for lost income from BP and increases in available mental health services-may have resulted in a reduction in potential mental health problems