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Louisiana wants funding for mental health services from BP

BATON ROUGE, La. — Louisiana’s health secretary is again asking BP PLC for $10 million for mental health services to state residents affected by the oil spill.

Health and Hospitals Secretary Alan Levine says counseling teams have talked to nearly 2,000 people in affected areas, and report increases in anxiety, depression, stress, grief, drinking, and thoughts of suicide.

In a letter yesterday to BP America’s Doug Suttles, Levine says $10 million will support six months of outreach and services.

His letter says the department first made its $10 million request a month ago.

And he writes that fast action now will reduce longterm damage to area residents and costs for their treatment.

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