Disaster Behavioral Health

Mental Health
Online Course
1 hour
University of Washington
Northwest PERLC

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Many public health workers are confident in their ability to handle the physical tasks involved in responding to a disaster, but what about the psychological challenges? In this module, Dr. Randal Beaton discusses the psychological phases of a community-wide disaster, common patterns of immediate and long-term public response, mental health risks that rescue workers and victims face, signs that might indicate that a survivor needs a mental health evaluation, and the importance of local preparedness. The module bases its case studies on Washington State agencies and plans.

Learning Objectives: 
  • List three of the common psychosocial phases of a community-wide disaster
  • Describe the various individual behavioral health outcomes that usually occur in the aftermath of disasters
  • Identify abnormal reactions to disaster that might indicate a need for a psychological evaluation
  • Describe how the Washington State mental health disaster response plan incorporates local, state and federal agencies
PHEP Capabilities: 
Mass Care
Fatality Management
Community Recovery
Responder Safety and Health