Disaster Behavioral Health

Disaster behavioral health is the provision of mental health, substance abuse, and stress management services to disaster survivors and responders.

Behavioral Health Concerns Affecting Survivors and Responders:

Following an emergency event, it is common for individuals and families in and around the affected region to experience distress and anxiety about safety, health, and recovery. Previous exposure to large scale events, such as a severe hurricane or flood, may place residents and responders who experience a new disaster at greater risk for adverse stress reactions. People may display symptoms and reactions such as:
  • Emotional symptoms such as irritability or excessive sadness.
  • Cognitive dysfunction such as difficulty making decisions or following directions.
  • Physical symptoms such as headache, stomach pain, or difficulty breathing.
  • Behavioral reactions such as consuming more alcohol or interpersonal conflict.
  • Failure to adhere to needed physical or psychiatric medication needs.
Other factors that can influence how people respond to disaster include:
  • Residents of disaster affected areas may be displaced, living in temporary emergency shelters, and separated from their usual support systems.
  • Circumstances may make it difficult to learn the status of recovery efforts or to find out the condition of friends, family members, and communities.
  • The exposure of disaster responders and volunteers to widespread destruction, the injury or death of others, or to hazardous materials may result in distress or a need for support.

Psychological First Aid Training

Psychological First Aid is an evidence-informed approach for assisting children, adolescents, adults, and families in the aftermath of disaster and terrorism.

Online training is available at the following website:

http://www.nctsn.org/content/psychological-first-aid

 

For assistance with behavioral health in Fort Bend County, contact Mental Health America Fort Bend County at (281) 207-2480.

For disaster distress, contact the Disaster Distress Hotline at 1-800-985-5990 or text “TalkWithUS” to 66746.

Para ayuda para los afectados por cat├ístrofes llame a 1-800-985-5990 o mande “Hablamos” por SMS al 66746.