Document / Publication
Better planning can help make available appropriate interventions to those in need, and help promote resiliency and recovery. It also provides an opportunity for a more efficient mental health response. It is possible, with sound, integrated planning, to fill the new, complex roles of identifying disease outbreaks, integrating health and mental health response, and conducting epidemiological surveillance-all of which are necessary in the new age of bioterrorism threats. To that end, the Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS), within the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), collaborated with the National Association for State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD) to assess the status of disaster mental health plans in the country, and provide guidance to States regarding important components in the planning process as well as potential content and organization of viable plans. This document is the result of that process. Along with the comprehensive matrix for planners found in Appendix A, this document is intended to help guide State and local mental health agencies create or revise plans for response to human or natural disasters and emergencies.