Taking Care of your Emotional Health

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Take care of our self is our own responsability.

Emergencies can have a significant impact on individuals’ mental and behavioral health. State and local health departments should include mental health management in each phase of a disaster (pre-event, response, recovery, and evaluation).

Assess:

Understand demographic and social characteristics. Identify the language needs, cultural considerations, and reading levels in your area.

Build relationships with public health officials, community stakeholders, private and public medical providers, and school officials.

Identify policy and resources for staff support.

Find behavioral health treatment facilities in your state.

Work with the National Association of Mental Health Program Directors.

Plan

Establish the role of partners, like community-based organizations, in mental health services during an emergency.

Identify and train mental health professionals and response staff to provide counseling, triage, outreach, and education during a crisis or emergency.

Plan for interpreter and translation services.

Train provider groups, including public health nurses, school health professionals, and community support workers in psychosocial consequences of terrorism and disasters.

Develop a risk communication plan and templates.

Develop a triage system to connect victims with emergency mental health services when needed.Establish the role of partners, like community-based organizations, in mental health services during an emergency.

Identify and train mental health professionals and response staff to provide counseling, triage, outreach, and education during a crisis or emergency.

Plan for interpreter and translation services.

Train provider groups, including public health nurses, school health professionals, and community support workers in psychosocial consequences of terrorism and disasters.

Develop a risk communication plan and templates.

Develop a triage system to connect victims with emergency mental health services when needed.

Response Phase

A man and woman stand discussing an informational brochure.

Distribute educational information appropriate to the event

First meet basic safety and security needs of target populations.

Provide Psychological First Aidexternal icon at response sites.

Use crisis and emergency risk communication principles in all messaging.

Continue to monitor the mental health needs of victims and responders.

Provide access to counselors in all appropriate languages.

Distribute educational information appropriate to the event.

Use triage system to connect victims in acute distress with professional services.

Provide coping resources for responders and their families.

Recovery Phase

Community members work together to paint a wall.

Give the community opportunities to come together

Continue to monitor mental health needs in the affected population.

Train social and community leaders on how to help their groups cope.

Give the community opportunities to come together.

Promote availability of coping resources.

Anticipate and plan to deal with trauma reminders (such as anniversaries of the event date, or the broadcast of similar incidents on the news).

Evaluation Phase

Monitor for long-term mental stress in the community and for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Identify and address gaps in your mental health preparedness plan.

Additional Resources

Resources for Leaders to Help Communities Cope

Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication (CERC) program

Skills for Psychological Recoveryexternal icon– an intervention designed to follow Psychological First Aidexternal icon in the weeks and months following disasters and mass violence events. (SAMHSA).

Resources for School Personnelexternal icon (National Child Traumatic Stress Network- NCTSN)

*With information from the Center from Disease Control and Precenrin (CDC).

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Soy Diana Cervantes tengo más de 20 años de experiencia en el periodismo comunitario. Soy binacional y bicultural. Nací en Los Ángeles, California y crecí en la ciudad fronteriza de Tijuana, esto me permite conocer la dinámica que se vive en el sur de California. Fuí editora de El Latino; corresponsal de Frontera Tijuana en la ciudad de San Diego; reportera de negocios en La Opinión de Los Ángeles y en La Prensa de Riverside. En los último años trabaje de forma independiente en el sur de California. Soy egresada de Ciencias de la Comunicación de la Universidad Autónoma de Baja California. Actualmente soy editora digital de Celebrando Latinas Magazine y El Latino.

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