Almost everyone in a community struck by a disaster will feel some type of emotional effect. For most, the acute reactions will be transient, and functional recovery will occur without intervention. For some, however, the impacts of a disaster on behavioral health can be severe and long-lasting, and if not addressed, can impede the recovery of individuals, families, and communities, resulting in significant long-term health burdens. There is chronic underreporting of behavioral health problems, due to the stigma often associated with these conditions, the separation of mental health services from medical services, and the lag time between exposure and the onset of disorder.
Our publications examine the linkages among behavioral health, resilience, and healthy communities; activities that mitigate adverse behavioral health effects in survivors; the gaps in the current system for addressing disaster-related behavioral health needs; and the opportunities for strengthening the behavioral health sector and integrating it with other sectors by leveraging disaster-related resources and experiences. All are free to download.
Evidence-Based Practice for Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response
When communities face complex public health emergencies, state local, tribal, and territorial public health agencies must make difficult decisions regarding how to effectively respond. The public health emergency preparedness and response …[more]
Educating Health Professionals to Address the Social Determinants of Mental Health: Proceedings of a Workshop
The social determinants of mental health involve the economic, social, and political conditions into which one is born that influence a person’s mental health – and, in particular, that affect the likelihood a person raised in deficient or …[more]
Healthy, Resilient, and Sustainable Communities After Disasters: Strategies, Opportunities, and Planning for Recovery
In the devastation that follows a major disaster, there is a need for multiple sectors to unite and devote new resources to support the rebuilding of infrastructure, the provision of health and social services, the restoration of care delivery …[more]
Ending Discrimination Against People with Mental and Substance Use Disorders: The Evidence for Stigma Change
Estimates indicate that as many as 1 in 4 Americans will experience a mental health problem or will misuse alcohol or drugs in their lifetimes. These disorders are among the most highly stigmatized health conditions in the United States, and they …[more]
Measuring Trauma: Workshop Summary
The Workshop on Integrating New Measures of Trauma into the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Data Collection Programs, held in Washington, D.C. in December 2015, was organized as part of an effort to assist …[more]
The Mental Health and Substance Use Workforce for Older Adults: In Whose Hands?
At least 5.6 million to 8 million–nearly one in five–older adults in America have one or more mental health and substance use conditions, which present unique challenges for their care. With the number of adults age 65 and older projected to …[more]
Preparedness, Response, and Recovery Considerations for Children and Families: Workshop Summary
Preparedness, Response and Recovery Considerations for Children and Families is the summary of a workshop convened in June, 2013 by the Institute of Medicine Forum on Medical and Public Health Preparedness for Catastrophic Events to …[more]
Research Priorities for Assessing Health Effects from the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill: A Letter Report
It is as yet uncertain how the Gulf of Mexico oil spill will affect the health of clean-up workers and volunteers, residents, and visitors in the Gulf. The IOM recommends that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services focus on researching …[more]
Opportunities for the Gulf Research Program: Community Resilience and Health: Summary of a Workshop
There are many connections between human communities and their surrounding environments that influence community resilience and health in the Gulf of Mexico. The impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on Gulf communities and ecosystems …[more]
Assessing the Effects of the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill on Human Health: A Summary of the June 2010 Workshop
From the origin of the leak, to the amount of oil released into the environment, to the spill’s duration, the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill poses unique challenges to human health. The risks associated with extensive, prolonged use of …[more]