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(p. 46) Delivering Mental Health Assistance in the Wake of Natural and Manmade Disasters 

(p. 46) Delivering Mental Health Assistance in the Wake of Natural and Manmade Disasters
Chapter:
(p. 46) Delivering Mental Health Assistance in the Wake of Natural and Manmade Disasters
Author(s):

Alec Cecil

DOI:
10.1093/med-psych/9780190912727.003.0003
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date: 25 October 2020

Disasters, both natural and manmade, seem to be occurring with increasing frequency in the United States and around the world. A single incident may affect many thousands of people. Collectively, many millions feel the impact of disaster every year. Addressing the psychological elements of such events has become recognized as a vital component of preparation, immediate response, and long-term recovery. This chapter reviews the major psychological aspects of disasters and disaster mental health (DMH) and highlights the importance of psychosocial assistance to survivors, responders, and others. DMH is designed to comfort and stabilize those affected, to promote effective coping, and to help maintain and restore inherent functioning. Factors that inhibit greater provision and utilization of these services are discussed, as is the importance of responding appropriately within the cultural environment of affected populations.

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