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Monday, March 28, 2011 - Page updated at 06:02 p.m.

Live chat: Mental health issues facing Japan earthquake survivors

Join UW Clinical Psychologist Dr. Debra Kaysen and Dr. Wayne Bentham, an internist and psychiatrist at UW, for a live chat on Wednesday, March 30 at 1 p.m. to talk about possible mental health issues facing survivors of a 9.0-magnitude earthquake that struck Japan on March 11. Kaysen's background includes a focus on the interaction between trauma exposure, PTSD and alcohol problems. Bentham spent two years working in New Orleans and surrounding parishes training medical and non-medical personnel to treat individuals suffering with depression and PTSD after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Submit questions before the chat.

Chat participants

Dr. Wayne Bentham, assistant professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Washington

Dr. Bentham is an internist and psychiatrist at UW School of Medicine. He is also a clinical consultant and trainer in the Advancing Integrated Mental Health Solutions (AIMS) Center within the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. He spent two years working in collaboration with local academic, medical, and community partners in New Orleans and surrounding parishes training medical and non-medical personnel to treat individuals suffering with depression and PTSD after hurricanes Katrina & Rita

Dr. Debra Kaysen, clinical psychologist and associate professor in the Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Department at UW

Dr. Kaysen has received grants from the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the National Institutes of Drug Abuse, and the Alcohol Beverage Medical Research Foundation. Her professional work focuses on the interaction between trauma exposure, PTSD and alcohol problems. She is also involved with two international research projects adapting treatments for PTSD for use in Iraq and the Democratic Republic of Congo for torture survivors.

Rewind | Live chat: How to help children cope with disasters

Join Dr. Robert Hilt from Seattle Children's hospital for a chat on Tuesday, March 22 at 2 p.m. to discuss ways adults can help children cope with natural disasters. Read the chat rewind below.

Chat participant

Dr. Robert Hilt, director of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health, Seattle Children's hospital

Dr. Hilt is a child and adolescent psychiatrist and pediatrician at Seattle Children's hospital. He is also the program director of the Partnership Access Line, a telephone-based child mental health consultation system for primary care providers. His focus areas include helping children cope with grief. He also advises parents on how to talk to their children about disasters similar to the crisis in Japan. Dr. Hilt is an assistant professor at the University of Washington where he teaches about child and adolescent psychiatry, and participates in child psychiatry research.

Rewind | Live chat: Nuclear crisis in Japan

Oregon State University Professor Kathryn Higley took your questions about the threat of a meltdown at a nuclear plant in Japan after last week's magnitude 9.0 earthquake. She also answered questions about the Pacific Northwest's only nuclear reactor. Read a rewind below.

Chat participant

Kathryn Higley, Oregon State University professor

Kathryn Higley is a professor at Oregon State University in the Department of Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Health. She has 14 years of experience as an environmental health physicist at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation and three years in environmental radiation monitoring at the Trojan Nuclear Power Plant in Oregon. Higley has been a consultant to the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Air, Water and Radiation Protection. She has taught at OSU since 1994, including courses on radioecology, radiation protection and societal aspects of nuclear technology.

Rewind | Live Chat: March 11 earthquake and tsunami

University of Washington Professor John Vidale took questions about the magnitude 9.0 earthquake that hit near the east coast of Honshu, Japan, on Friday, March 11 and about 200 miles from Tokyo. Read the rewind below.

Chat participant

John Vidale, University of Washington professor

John has conducted extensive research on earthquakes and Earth structure. His recent work includes measuring the damage to faults during earthquakes, striving to understand why earthquake swarms strike, measuring the rotation of the inner core, and showing there is a correlation, albeit very weak, between the occurrence of earthquakes and the ocean tides.