event is often unreliable) and is not a diagnostic measure. Rather, it measures exposure, traumatic loss, early emergence of potentially ongoing or persistent stressors, disaster-related injury and illness, and peri-traumatic panic. A triage form prompts staff to collect information from individuals about their experiences (e.g., psychological panic symptom, direct life threat, exposure, trapped, saw bodies, had direct loss of loved ones, home loss). The responses help identify which patients need to be seen first.

Aggregated individual PsySTART data can be used to estimate site-level and population-level impacts of a disaster and develop a total picture of risk (types, locations, number of children at risk). Geographic information system mapping of data from multiple sites enables a common operating picture and near-real-time situational awareness of children’s mental health needs. This is then used to guide incident management, define needs, allocate resources, and facilitate interagency coordination. Schreiber noted that a PsySTART mobile app has recently been developed.

In closing, Schreiber referred participants to another resource from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, a trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy online training course.1 He described it as a high-end intervention for the very-high-risk subset who are not likely to progress to resilience without intervention. Traumatic grief is different from the experience of grief in other situations, he said, and requires different treatment. Triaging high-risk children, while also taking into account important trauma histories and exposure to other incidents can be instrumental in ensuring that children progress through a recovery of timeline along with their peers, and return to their normal baseline after an event or reach further growth potential.


1Available at http://tfcbt.musc.edu (accessed September 9, 2013).

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