LOCAL: MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS FROM AREA SOUGHT TO HELP KATRINA VICTIMS
Delaware County Daily Times
6 September 2005
SOURCE: http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?B...&PAG=461&rfi=9

In response to a request from the Louisiana state police, U.S. Rep. Curt Weldon, R-7, of Thornbury, has asked that any psychiatrists or psychologists interested in assisting police officers and firefighters in the Gulf region call his Garrett Road office at (610) 259-0700.

Weldon said he would make certain that these volunteers would be able to assist emergency responders immediately. "There's an urgent need for psychiatrists and psychologists," Weldon said.

The call came after the suicide of Sgt. Paul Accardo, who shot himself in the head with his own weapon.

Accardo helped Weldon and Times staff writer William Bender locate New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin at the Hyatt Regency Hotel on Friday.

"He had told us he lost everything," Weldon said. "He was a nice guy."

The representative said Accardo lost his house, and his wife and children were in it at the time.

He said the loss of Accardo demonstrates how the catastrophe of Hurricane Katrina has impacted the country. "That's what this is," Weldon said, "a terrible story of personal tragedy. Here's a man who lost everything and he still was trying to help. It was too much for him and he committed suicide."

Weldon implored interested mental-health professionals to call his office at (610) 259-0700.