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Psychiatrist Says Victims’ Families Holding Up Well With AM-Delta Crash Bjt

August 4, 1985

DALLAS (AP) _ Relatives of those who died in the crash of Delta Flight 191 were coping well with the tragedy, but when they woke up in the night or cried, help was nearby, a member of the team comforting the families said Sunday.

Dr. James Black, a psychiatrist with a teaching appointment to the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, was among the pschiatrists and other doctors dispatched to aid the families.

The team tried to set up a system of ″wall-to-wall caring″ for the grieving families of the 131 victims of Friday’s crash of a jumbo jet short of a runway at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. Thirty-one people survived.

″The families are taking it well,″ he said at Parkland Memorial Hospital. ″In my 18 hours out there, it seemed they were very understanding, but they needed to deal with the hurt.″

Relatives provided authorities and workers from the Dallas County medical examiner’s office with dental charts and photographs to aid in identification of the the bodies.

The team’s objective upon its arrival Saturday was to provide families a ″libidinal cocoon″ - a web of love and support, said Black, who also has a private psychiatric practice.

″We can’t put the plane back together, or bring loved ones back, but we do care,″ he said.

He said he was unaware of any relatives of victims who had serious psychological problems in dealing with deaths.

″But a representative was there in the hotel with the grieving family members,″ he said. ″When they woke up in the middle of the night or cried, we weren’t far away.″

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