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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

Bureau of Preparedness and Response

  •  850-245-4444
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    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 disaster

 

Disaster Behavioral Health responders work with communities and other 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. 

Training Resources 

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 

SAMHSA Disaster Preparedness and Recovery

  • SAMHSA 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. Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor. 
  • SAMHSA Publications and 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 Psychological First Aid-Publications and Resources 
  • 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

National Child Traumatic Stress Network - Natural Disasters


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