221744 Using Disaster Mental Health Interventions for local traumatic events in urban communities: A novel application

Monday, November 8, 2010 : 9:15 AM - 9:30 AM

Sarah J. Powell, MA , Public Health Department, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
Alice Hausman, PhD, MPH , Department of Public Health, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
Exposure to disaster can significantly impact the behavioral health of individuals and communities. Several interventions such as Psychological First Aid (PFA) and Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) have been developed to ameliorate long term effects, including the development of anxiety disorders and post traumatic stress. Emergency response models utilizing Crisis Intervention Teams are typical delivery modes for these preventive services. Yet, small scale community events do not generate these emergency response services, despite the evidence that exposure to the traumatic stress of witnessing interpersonal violence has been linked to negative mental health outcomes. The City of Philadelphia is building the capacity of local community mental health providers to meet the need generated by more common-place small scale violent events often experienced by local neighborhoods by engaging in these preventative interventions. With this novel initiative, Philadelphia is addressing the demonstrated need for support to local communities following small-scale traumatic events, building capacity for large-scale disasters, and training teams in evidence-informed trauma interventions with interoperability and mutual aid in mind. Our research takes advantage of the unique timing afforded by the early stages of implementation. Evaluating this model at its early stages permits investigation of research questions that have relevance to the wider field of prevention research including the opportunity to 1) assess the success of disseminating preventive services into community mental health services; 2) demonstrate facilitators and barriers to the adoption process and; 3) assess the effectiveness of the model in building capacity for responding to large scale emergencies.

Learning Areas:
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Other professions or practice related to public health
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related public policy
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Identify three ways this community-based intervention is novel. Assess the effectiveness of this model in building capacity for large scale disasters while improving the quality and experience of responders. Identify 3 factors that facilitate adoption by community behavioral health providers.

Keywords: Community Capacity, Disasters

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the project director for this study
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.