Mental Health Surveillance for Public Health Response to Disasters

Wednesday, June 25, 2014: 7:15 AM
Rock & Roll, Renaissance Hotel
Michael Heumann , HeumannHealth Consulting, LLC, Portland, OR
Deborah W. Gould , Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA

Brief Summary
In recent years, there has been an increased concern about wide-scale disasters, both natural and human caused, and their impact on the mental health of the population at large. Following a disaster, surveillance is critical for identifying needs, targeting response actions, monitoring conditions, and providing feedback on the efficacy of interventions. Yet states’ mental health response efforts to disasters are challenged by limitations in existing surveillance assets, data, and collection methods and the compartmentalization of public health and mental health at the state and local levels. In 2012-2013, the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) collaborated to conduct a mental health surveillance needs assessment with state epidemiologist to determine their needs and priorities relating to mental health surveillance following a disaster. CSTE has convened a Working Group in conjunction with the CSTE Disaster Epidemiology Subcommittee to help implement the recommendations that came from needs assessment. This Roundtable Discussion will be an opportunity to learn about successes and challenges/opportunities that are unfolding, including the development of a tool kit for improved mental health surveillance following a disaster.