Document / Publication
This policy brief suggests best practice for disaster mental health and the implementation of trauma-informed services in Hong Kong. Recommendations for practice and policy in Hong Kong include recognising disaster mental health as a specialty practice, mobilizing resources for healthcare staff training in disaster mental health interventions, developing an integrated preparedness and response plan for psychosocial needs during emergencies, strengthening communication and coordination in the field, and ensuring regulation of mental health practices following disasters. Also, formalising governance structures to support the implementation of evidence-based mental healthcare, and the integration of monitoring, evaluation and research to routine practice can enable informed decision making for future response.
The psychological impacts of disaster are an increasingly recognized public health priority. Despite this, the management of mental health risks is often poorly coordinated in the aftermath of complex emergencies. Hong Kong is limited in its capacity to engage with the public and promote effective services for psychological trauma treatments. Community awareness about the importance of disaster mental health in Hong Kong is also low. Long-term policy direction and more resources are required to support the current system of psychosocial services.