Integrating Mental Health Services into Humanitarian Relief Responses to Social Emergencies, Disasters, and Conflicts: A Case Study

Centre for Disaster and Military Psychiatry, University of Zurich, Birchstrasse 3, 8057, Zurich, Switzerland.
The Journal of Behavioral Health Services & Research (Impact Factor: 1.37). 01/2011; 38(1):132-41. DOI: 10.1007/s11414-010-9214-y
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Utilizing lessons learned from development and implementation of "Project Liberty" in New York City, created in response to the attacks of September 11, 2001, this paper explores the importance of integrating structured mental health services with community-based social service programs offered in large-scale humanitarian relief responses. Relevant international research studies illustrating similar integrated programs are also reviewed. The primary approach is community-based and resilience-enhancement focused, offering structure, stability, support, and community cohesion, with an added integrated screening component to identify persons with severe treatable mental health conditions. Because there is thus far little evidence that resilience-enhancing programs are effective for severe mental health conditions, a secondary program initiated in parallel would be staffed with more specialized providers offering services for those referred from the primary program. The key implication supports the establishment of more effective links between programs and professionals from different disciplines, who then can more effectively implement integrated program responses to large-scale disasters.

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Available from: Bob Henley, Sep 26, 2015
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    • "Neste sentido, estudos com foco na resiliência emocional, no suporte social e no papel das equipes de resgate têm ganhado credibilidade e espaço nas investigações sobre as reações psicológicas diante dos desastres, delineando as ações preventivas características da fase do prédesastre (Carvalho & Borges, 2009). Henley et al. (2010) demonstram a importância e a tendência atual de desenvolvimento de programas comunitários que enaltecem a resiliência, sugerindo uma nova forma de abordagem em pós-desastre, que ofereça estrutura, estabilidade, suporte e coesão à comunidade. "
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    ABSTRACT: Natural disasters are increasingly affecting people around the world, causing many times psychological suffering to affected populations. Before this, one wonders how the psychologist may act against the natural disasters? This article aimed to analyze the scientific production in the field of psychology, available in national and international virtual libraries from 2000 to 2010, about the work of psychologist concerning to natural disasters. For both, we conducted a content analysis of bibliographical production available in the following data banks CRID, BIREME and LILACS. From the 72 work accessed, 47.67 % were related to the subject, being 43.33 % in the portuguese language. As to the practices described, there is more focus in the actions that happen post-disaster, specifically in the treatment of mental disorders, in particular in posttraumatic stress disorder. From the data collected, we emphasize the need to produce articles and other scientific work as a way to disseminate guidelines that are able to subsidize the actions of psychologists concerning to natural disasters, not focusing only in post-disaster, but on preventive actions that aim to strengthen and prepare the community to cope with natural disasters.
    Psicologia em Estudo 06/2012; 17(2):307-315. DOI:10.1590/S1413-73722012000200014
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    ABSTRACT: The authors review the existing literature on the mental health impact of the September 11th attacks and the implications for disaster mental health clinicians and policy makers. The authors discuss the demographic characteristics of those affected and the state of mental health needs and existing mental health delivery services; the nature of the disaster and primary impacts on lives, infrastructure, and socioeconomic factors; the acute aftermath in the days and weeks after the attacks; the persistent mental health impact and evolution of services of the postacute aftermath; and the implications for future disaster mental health practitioners and policy makers.
    The Psychiatric clinics of North America 09/2013; 36(3):417-29. DOI:10.1016/j.psc.2013.05.011 · 1.87 Impact Factor
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