Managing Mental Health During Disaster Response

In this episode of the Disaster Podcast we look at managing mental health patients in the disaster situation. Emergency situations by their very nature bring on additional stress that can overwhelm a person without mental health issues. When a person with an existing behavioral condition confronts a disaster situation, they can quickly become unable to manage their illness.

Dr. Joe Holley joins the conversation with insights into how disaster responders like USAR team members learn to manage patients with special needs like those with comorbid mental illness in the face of disasters. He discusses the importance of building community resilience around knowing where special needs patients reside, especially when that is an inpatient or home care setting.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has online resources that can be accessed prior to a disaster situation to help individuals and caregivers with preparedness. There is also a responder app that helps locate mental health resources in the area when needed.

This episode is hosted by Jamie Davis and Sam Bradley.

Paragon Brings “The Experience”

Paragon Medical Education Group specializes in bringing what they call “The Experience” to jurisdictions around the country. They bring together police, fire, EMS, and hospital teams to train together and learn what to expect from each diverse group in the response team so that each knows what to expect from the other and how to back the other groups up. Visit Paragon’s site at for more information on how this can be brought into your system.

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