5063.0 Disaster behavioral health and its integration into disaster public health preparedness and response

Wednesday, October 31, 2012: 8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Panel Discussion
The first recorded disaster, the Krakatoa volcano explosion of 1883 brought the issue of traumatic events to the attention of the global village. We continue to record, to watch and to learn as we witness survivors of these events and the responses of our communities via television, radio, email and the internet. In the past decade, disasters in the US alone have increased by 39%. These events are defined as a natural or human-caused occurrence (e.g., hurricane, tornado, flood, tsunami, earthquake, explosion, hazardous materials accident, mass criminal victimization incident, war, transportation accident, fire, terrorist attack, famine, epidemic) that causes human suffering and a collective need that overwhelms local resources and requires additional assistance. The history and the recent increase in natural disasters exemplifies the necessity of addressing preparedness, response and recovery activities from the public health perspective. The coordination of public health, mental health, substance abuse and emergency services organizations along with not-for-profit and voluntary agencies forms the most effective disaster response. Collaborative planning and exercising broad scale public education, risk communications and crisis intervention in a post disaster situation provides a more organized timely and efficient disaster response. Public health and behavioral health continue to work at integrating their missions, planning and response activities into a seamless delivery system to survivors and their communities across the nation, but there is still much learning that needs to take place from history and from each of these disciplines.

Federal crisis counseling program data speak to the need for integration of behavioral and public health disaster response
Amy R. Mack, PsyD, Lori McGee, MA, Amy Falcone, MA, Michael Lodato, PhD and Nikki D. Bellamy, PhD

See individual abstracts for presenting author's disclosure statement and author's information.

Organized by: Injury Control and Emergency Health Services

CE Credits: Medical (CME), Health Education (CHES), Nursing (CNE), Public Health (CPH)