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Improving mental health policies in disaster planning

Dec. 9, 2006

KALAMAZOO--Dr. Alan J. Hovestadt, professor of counselor education and counseling psychology at Western Michigan University, was one of 150 invited participants who attended the 22nd Annual Rosalynn Carter Symposium on Mental Health Policy Nov. 8-9 in Atlanta's Carter Center.

The conference brought disaster and mental health experts together to discuss the long-term psychological consequences of Hurricane Katrina and ways to improve disaster planning, preparedness and response as they relate to mental health. Participants developed and prioritized major policy recommendations that will be shared with federal, state, regional and local governments.

Hovestadt joined WMU in 1985 and was chair of the Department of Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology for 10 years. He is a fellow of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and is serving a two-year term as the organization's president.

Media contact: Tonya Hernandez, (269) 387-8400, tonya.hernandez@wmich.edu

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