the California Disaster Mental Health Coalition (CDMHC) has been
endeavoring to improve disaster mental health services across
professional disciplines in the field of disaster mental health.
We focus on ways to partner with disaster mental health providers
in the public and private sectors to help our communities recover
from crises and disasters.
consists of representatives from various professional associations,
governmental agencies, and consulting affiliates. Together, we
exchange information and stay updated on changes in the domain
of disaster mental health. We design and implement methods to
expand service delivery during and after disasters. In one project,
the Coalition amassed over 700 professional mental health providers
to provide pro bono services within California following the
Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita disasters.
collaborated with the State of California in developing Disaster
Mental Health Core Competencies for mental health responders
that were included in the State of California
Mental/Behavioral Health Disaster Framework (December 2012). A Core Work Group
of the California Mental/Behavioral
Health Disaster Planning Project was convened in December 2015 to address the implementation
of the Framework. The Core Work Group includes members of CDMHC
who represent the various professional mental health associations.
seek to mentor each other as well as other mental health providers
interested in the dynamic field of disaster mental health. It
is crucial that providers of disaster mental health services
are sufficiently trained to satisfy the Core Competencies and
provide “best practices” and evidence-based interventions.
We encourage our colleagues to affiliate with established organizations
before disasters strike, which provides them with training, deployment,
and legitimacy as part of a coordinated disaster relief operation.