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Disaster Behavioral Health

Behavioral health describes the continuum of one’s emotional, cognitive, and relational wellbeing and is a key factor in the ways that people act. Following a disaster or emergency event, it is common for individuals and families, as well as disaster responders, to experience distress and anxiety related to safety, health, well-being and recovery. Behavioral health is an integral part of the public health and medical emergency management system, and should be fully integrated into preparedness, response, and recovery activities.

Disaster behavioral health is the provision of mental health, substance abuse, and stress management services to disaster survivors and responders. Federal disaster behavioral health also addresses the behavioral health care infrastructure, individual and community resilience, and risk communication and messaging.