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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, & community efforts.

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Disaster Behavioral Health Response Teams

Bureau of Preparedness and Response

  •  850-245-4444

    Mailing Address

    4052 Bald Cypress Way, Bin A23 



All people involved in a disaster are affected in some way, from emergency response workers to disaster survivors, (including family members and friends), and the public at large. Persons affected by disaster events may experience varying levels of stress and anxiety. They may also display other physical and psychological symptoms that could adversely affect their ability to respond and function. Outreach, early psychological first aid, and referrals can assist disaster survivors meet new challenges, and offers support in their recovery process to return them to pre-disaster performance and functioning levels.

two women hugging after disasterThe Department of Health, in conjunction with the Florida Crisis Consortium, has formed Disaster Behavioral Health Response Teams to work with communities (at the request of local jurisdictions) to assess and manage behavioral health needs that occur as a result of a disaster.


Disaster Behavioral Health response Teams work with communities and emergency responders to assist with the mitigation of emotional, psychological, and physical effects of a disaster, natural or man-made. Disaster behavioral health responders apply the concepts of psychological first aid to help those affected overcome the initial impact of shock, denial, and depression when confronting disasters. For more information on Disaster Behavioral Health Response Teams, see the Florida Crisis Consortium flyer.

"Under Florida law, e-mail addresses are public records. If you do not want your e-mail address released in response to a public records request, do not send electronic mail to this entity. Instead, contact this office by phone or in writing." - Fla. Stat. sec. 668.6076

For more information on becoming a Disaster Behavioral Health Response Team member contact

The following resources support Disaster Behavioral Health Response Team activities. If you have feedback or input on how to improve this Webpage or would like to share/submit additional resources, send an email to

To contact us by phone call: (850) 245-4040

Training Resources 

Disaster Behavioral Health Needs of Persons with Mental Health and Substance Abuse Considerations - Presentation slides from the June 20, 2012, Department of Health Webinar. The program was designed to encourage planners and emergency response personnel to engage advocated and individuals with mental health disorders in the planning process and identify planning considerations involving persons with mental health disorders in their community.

Psychological First Aid Training - An online interactive course from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network. The course is described as being for "individuals new to disaster response who want to learn the core goals of psychological first aid, as well as for seasoned practitioners who want a review.

Other Resources 

Disaster Distress Helpline
The Disaster Distress Helpline is a national hotline dedicated to providing year-round immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster. This toll-free, multilingual, and confidential crisis support service is available to all residents in the United States and its territories. Stress, anxiety, and other depression-like symptoms are common reactions after a disaster. Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.

Coping Tips for Traumatic Events and Disasters

Disaster-Specific Resources

Disaster Preparedness, Response, and Recovery

SAMHSA Disaster Preparedness and Recover Resources

  • SAMHSA Disaster Preparedness and Recovery Resources – The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) collection of resources includes publications and related resources for responders, program planners, educators, employers and other professionals as well as for the general public.
  • SAMHSA Behavioral Health Disaster Response Mobile App  - Free Mobile app offers first responders immediate access to field resources for aiding disaster survivors. Has the ability to search for and map behavioral health service providers in the impacted area, review emergency preparedness materials, and send resources to colleagues.

American Academy of Pediatrics Children and Disasters

American Psychological Association

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Emergency Preparedness and Respons

National Child Traumatic Stress Network - Natural Disasters

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Administration for Children & Families (ACF)
The Office of Human Services Emergency Preparedness and Response
Disasters Don’t Discriminate (But Sometimes People Do)

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT)
Resources on the LGBT population include national survey reports, agency and federal initiatives, and related behavioral health resources.

Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters Emergency Events Database

*Note: This page contains materials in the Portable Document Format (PDF).  The free Adobe Reader may be required to view these files.