Starting the Conversation about Mental Health – Partners in Health and Wholeness


“FEMA’s Urban Search and Rescue Teams from Missouri Task Force 1 look for residents that may be stranded in a neighborhood that was flooded following Hurricane Matthew.  A brick church [ Sandy Grove Baptist Church, Inc. ] is pictured here with water reaching its doors. ”  source:  FEMA Media Libray |  Photo: Jocelyn Augustino/FEMA | 10.10.2016 – Lumberton, NC

Churches, outreach ministries, and faith-based organizations are playing a vital role in ongoing and emerging disaster recovery efforts.  Moreover, many of the volunteers that are serving the community are flood survivors as well.  This real-time focus and commitment demonstrates the capacity of the faith community to serve as an effective point of entry that increases access to a wide range of solutions that are available to individuals and families in need.

Ironically the link to the article below was posted by Partners in Health & Wholeness [ a statewide network of congregations focused on health and wellness ] just days before record flooding inundated our region.  Prayerfully this resource will help to encourage collaboration amongst the faith community with local, state and federal agencies and organizations focused on behavioral health, and also nurture the development and effective delivery of diverse, community based disaster counseling and support strategies. Click below to learn more!


“Starting the Conversation about Mental Health”  – Partners in Health and Wholeness


Relevant Resources:  

The Impact of Mental Illness Stigma on Seeking and Participating in Mental Health Care

Abandoning a label doesn’t make it disappear: The perseverance of labeling effects


SAMHSA |  Introduction to Disaster Behavioral Health


UCTV |  Disasters and Behavioral Health:  Helping Survivors Recover from Trauma


The National Child Traumatic Stress Network


Recovery: After a Flood

Psychological First Aid Field Operations Guide for Community Religious Professionals

Psychological First Aid for Families Experiencing Homelessness

Psychological First Aid for Youth Experiencing Homelessness


SAMHSA |  The “Promising Practices in Disaster Behavioral Health (DBH) Planning:  Building Effective Partnerships” webcast below provides information and examples of how to build effective working relationships with federal, state, and local government, and non-government partners, in developing a comprehensive DBH plan.

Key Points:

• “The delivery of DBH is too large of an activity to be
handled effectively by any one organization or

• “Disasters are the worst time to hand out business

• ‘Partner agencies have the community’s best interest
at heart.”

SAMHSA |  The “Promising Practices in Disaster Behavioral Health Planning:  Financials and Administration Operations”  webinar below identifies policies, procedures, and promising practices in financial and administrative operations in DBH before, during, and after a disaster.

Key Points:

• “The overwhelming majority of States do not have an
annual budget appropriation line item for DBH

• ‘Local and State-level public sector administrative
procedures are not designed in a manner which
facilitates rapid communication, mobilization, and
deployment of assets and resources.”

• “Disasters are rare, and typically the response relies
on ad hoc expenditures covered out of existing
operational funds at the State level.”

• “Local resources from county (regional) behavioral
health programs are also limited and most often
dependent on post-event reimbursement from FEMA
(public assistance) and CCP Immediate Services
Program grants.”

• “Administrative ‘noncompliance’ through hasty
decision-making is difficult to justify after an

American Red Cross Spiritual Care

More to Red Cross Spiritual Care than Praying