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20 1. Planning/Preparedness Following a disaster or a drill or exercise, convene an Convene a Disaster Mental Health Advisory Committee. "after action" committee to review preparedness, miti- Review the AEP. gation, response, and recovery issues and activities and Review the disaster mental health plan of your local make necessary updates and changes. American Red Cross and other disaster mental health response agencies in your community. This list of planning elements has been adapted from the Develop a comprehensive airport disaster mental health New York State County Disaster Mental Health Planning and response and recovery plan. Response Guide. The full plan can be viewed as a part of the Develop Airport/Community disaster mental health case studies listed in this Guidebook. response teams. Establish a Memorandum of Understandings (MOU) with community partners. Five Essential Participate in Community/Regional disaster drills and Intervention Principles exercises. 2. Mitigation A number of researchers, professionals, and national and Identify high risk areas and populations within the air- international organizations have articulated some recommen- port work groups and its contiguous borders. dations and guidelines for managing trauma in the aftermath Develop disaster-related educational brochures (i.e., of disasters [Blythe and Slawinski (2004); Alexander (2005); psychological impact of disasters and how to seek help, Bisson, Brayne, Ochberg, & Everly (2007); Bisson & Cohen recover, etc.) and distribute to high risk areas and (2006); International Society of Traumatic Stress Studies populations. Resources (2006); and The World Health Organization IASC 3. Response Guidelines on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Activate response protocols for airport disaster mental Emergency Settings (2006)]. health teams. Hobfoll, S.E. et al. (2007) represents some recent work done Coordinate resource deployment and service provision by a group of international experts from a variety of disciplines with other community-based disaster mental health relevant to disaster mental health. This group was formed to teams. address the needs of individuals traumatized by disasters Assess mental health needs of the affected airport and in lieu of the lack of controlled studies in this area in order community. to articulate some "evidence informed" recommendations. Initiate early phase supportive interventions. The project resulted in the identification of five essential Identify high risk populations and implement the appro- elements (Figure 3) of mental health interventions performed priate early phase interventions. in the aftermath of disasters. These principles state that pro- Distribute public mental health educational materials. moting (1) a sense of safety, (2) calming, (3) a sense of self- Collaborate with local government around risk commu- and community efficacy, (4) connectedness, and (5) hope nication. are all important. Re-assess and evaluate mental health needs of the affected community. 4. Recovery Assess and evaluate the intermediate and long-term men- tal health needs of the airport community. Identify community/regional resources to provide inter- mediate and long-term mental health and substance abuse treatment. Train mental health/health practitioners in long-term mental health and substance abuse treatment inter- ventions. Implement supportive interventions for airport Disaster Mental Health teams and other disaster personnel. 5. Evaluation Conduct periodic disaster drills and tabletop exercises, as in compliance with FAA regulations, and participate Figure 3. Five essential intervention in other community/regional/state drills. principles (Hobfoll et. al, 2007).