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TELEVISION SPECIAL: 'BACK FROM DISASTER' FOCUSES ON PSYCHOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF NATURAL DISASTERS

 JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Nov. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- The lingering psychological effects of natural disasters are the focus of a special hour-long television program airing Saturday, Nov. 13, 9 a.m., and Friday, Nov. 19 at 5 p.m., as a joint venture of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, Inc. (BCBSF) and Sunshine Network.
 "Back from Disaster" was produced by BCBSF to promote health and wellness following disasters. Florida's catastrophic encounter with Hurricane Andrew in 1992 was the catalyst for the program which provides a forum for discussion on the psychological recovery stages -- both normal and necessary -- following a natural disaster.
 "After a disaster, the immediate focus is to recover physical losses which may cause emotional and psychological needs to take a back seat," said Dr. William Parham, vice president of medical affairs for BCBSF. "However, effectively addressing these needs is critical to recovery and wellness...and it is the major focus of the program."
 The show uses a town-meeting format to bring together survivors of several of recent history's most memorable natural disasters, including:
 -- Hurricane Andrew, which struck South Florida Aug. 24, 1992;
 -- Hurricane Hugo, which hit the South Carolina coast Sept. 16,
 1989;
 -- the San Francisco earthquake of Oct. 17, 1989; and,
 -- the devastating fires that swept through the Oakland Hills in
 1991.
 The survivors are joined by Dr. Thomas Mellman and Dr. Pamela Deroian of the University of Miami's School of Medicine and Clinical Psychology department. The participants share various elements of their recovery experience and tell of the psychological impact of "losing everything."
 Some of the topics covered in the program include identifying and dealing with post-traumatic stress syndrome, workplace changes, special concerns for children and family dynamics during recovery.
 Sunshine Network will air the program as part of its commitment to public affairs programming. The network is available in more than 3 million cable television homes throughout Florida.
 To supplement the program, BCBSF has published a special booklet focusing on disaster recovery. It is available at no charge in both English and Spanish. The public may receive a copy of the booklet by writing to "Back From Disaster," P.O. Box 533727, Orlando, FL 32853-3727.
 -0- 11/12/93
 /CONTACT: Marty Filipowski of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, 904-791-8075/


CO: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida; Sunshine Network ST: Florida IN: INS ENT SU: JVN

RK-AW -- FL002 -- 3559 11/12/93 09:43 EST
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Date:Nov 12, 1993
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