Disaster Mental Health
Photo Credit: FEMA/ Andrea Booher
The Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health (DBH) works to assure that mental health preparedness and response initiatives are appropriately managed and delivered throughout the city. Temple University’s Center for Preparedness Research Education and Practice (CPREP), in partnership with DBH, is helping to address guidelines and benchmarks specified by national, state, and local institutions.
Specifically, CPREP is supporting DBH in the following activities:1) assist in the research, development, evaluation and completion of a Disaster Behavioral Health training curricula, 2) assist in the research, development, and evaluation of a Disaster Mental Health Response Plan and Continuity of Operations Plan, 3) assist with the development of a behavioral health component of the Philadelphia Medical Reserve Corps, including training, 4) assist with collaboration and coordination around pandemic flu planning, 5) facilitate coordination with in the city -- with PDPH, OEM, and other academic institutions, 6) facilitate coordination with regional counterparts, including holding an annual summit for county disaster mental health counterparts, 7) participation in the DBH emergency planning group, and other local planning groups in coordination with OEM, including the MH Workgroup, 8) facilitate 'town hall' presentations for provider agencies, 9) provide personal & family preparedness training for DBH staff, 10) initiate two exploratory focus groups to begin research in the area of risk communication to diverse communities in Philadelphia, and 11) complete a statistically relevant survey for both DBH and OEM around emergency evacuation directives in the five county Philadelphia region.