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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Behavioral Health

Disaster behavioral health is the provision of mental health, substance abuse, and stress management services to disaster survivors and responders. Following an emergency event it is common for individuals and families, as well as disaster responders, to experience distress and anxiety about safety, health, and recovery. Natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and other emergencies over the last several years, along with recent research on the impacts of these events, have highlighted the need for disaster behavioral health capabilities. Behavioral health professionals trained in disaster response often work in shelters, medical and psychiatric facilities, or may engage in outreach and educational activities in communities to facilitate the resiliency and recovery of survivors and responders.

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  • This page last reviewed: September 08, 2020