Disaster Behavior and Mental Health

The importance of how to address the behavioral & mental health aspects of responding to a major disaster, and how hospitals, community partners (public health, EMS, law enforcement, social services, etc.) can better prepare to meet the mental health needs of three distinct populations following a crisis: arriving patients following a disaster; first responders and receivers; and the community at large. This area focuses more on responding to the needs of individuals who were otherwise healthy before the disaster, but begin experiencing mental health distress because of the disaster.

Resources for Response and Recovery

Disaster Distress Helpline–Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Phone: 1-800-985-5990 Text: “TalkWithUs” to 66746

Coping with Disasters, Violence and Traumatic Events–Disaster Information Management Research Center (DIMRC)
(includes topics for emergency responders, healthcare workers, and volunteers as well as information for patients and visitors)

Psychological First Aid (adults & youth)–National Child Traumatic Stress Network & National Center for PTSD

CDC – Mental Health Aspects of an Emergency Response
National VOAD – Emotional & Spiritual Care During Emergencies
National VOAD – Disaster Spiritual Care Guidelines
National Center for PTSD – Psychological Treatment of Disaster Related Mental Health Problems

Pediatric Considerations
NCTSN – Pediatric Medical Traumatic Stress Toolkit for Health Care Providers
SAMHSA – Psychological Issues for Children and Adolescents In Disasters
National Child Traumatic Stress Network – Terrorism Resources
National Child Traumatic Stress Network – Natural Disaster Resources