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PREPARE a mental health disaster response plan
GATHER resources you can use in your professional capacity and provide to service users when disaster occurs
ENGAGE in professional development activities to build knowledge and skills
CONSIDER personal wellbeing and the wellbeing of your team and organisation
Stable times are ideal for building your own capacity or the capacity of your team to directly provide mental health services to disaster-impacted individuals and communities. Depending on your professional role and the nature of the service you provide, you may wish to increase your knowledge and skills in the provision of Level 1, 2 or 3 interventions. See diagram above.
The concept of levels of intervention sits within a stepped care approach to the provision of mental health support, where interventions are matched to the needs and preferences of the individual.
Level 1 interventions are designed to provide information and basic support at times of disaster or trauma. Level 2 interventions involve the provision of simple psychological strategies designed to target common, often transient psychosocial difficulties. Level 3 interventions are evidence-based interventions that target mental health disorders. The disaster-impacted individual may be stepped up to the next level of support as needed.
In order to prepare yourselves and your organisations to better respond to the mental health needs of disaster impacted individuals, you may wish to familiarise yourself with the principles and practices of Trauma-informed Care or TIC. It’s helpful to consider TIC not only within the context of preparation for disaster, but as a guide to your response to disasters as they occur, both in the immediate and longer term.
Click the image above to watch ‘The 6 principles that underpin TIC’ video. Read the transcript.
An essential element in caring for disaster-impacted individuals and communities is caring for your own wellbeing and the wellbeing of your colleagues.
Our Self-care training module is designed to assist you with practical skills and information.
You might also wish to follow this link to an online module that explores in greater depth Psychological Principles for Disaster Care.
The Guide to Disaster Recovery Capitals (ReCap Guide) is a resource for people, organisations and governments engaged in disaster recovery.
It aims to support wellbeing after disasters by providing evidence-based guidance to aid decision making, encouraging strengths-based, holistic and inclusive recovery approaches to recovery.
The guide identifies seven areas of recovery – natural, social, financial, cultural, political, built and human – and emphasises the interconnectedness between these ‘recovery capitals’.View ReCap Guide