Mental health worker roles post-disaster: an integrative review

Usher, Kim, Woods, Cindy, and West, Caryn (2014) Mental health worker roles post-disaster: an integrative review. Asian Journal of Environment and Disaster Management, 6 (1). pp. 39-53.

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Background: Mental health workers play an important role in caring for traumatised people after a disaster. While there is much literature about disaster responses, little has been written from the perspective of mental health workers.

Aim: The aim of this integrative review is to explore the current evidence related to the personal and professional responses to the impact of a disaster; the roles, actions, involvement, psychological preparation and reactions of mental health workers working in the aftermath of a disaster.

Methods: Relevant literature published between 1996 and 2012 was identified through electronic databases. Articles were reviewed if they discussed the roles of mental health workers in communities post disaster. Thirty-one peer reviewed journal articles met the inclusion criteria.

Results: Two themes emerged relating to the tasks, roles, skills and actions mental health workers perform during a disaster response, and the emotional impact of the work on the mental health workers.

Conclusions: Findings identified a gap in the literature about the education and preparedness of mental health workers to support traumatised survivors immediately after a disaster, and the long-term impact of a disaster on mental health workers who are themselves survivors yet continue to provide care to others in affected communities.

Item ID: 37668
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1793-9259
Keywords: disasters, community mental health services, disaster relief planning, survivors
Date Deposited: 27 May 2015 03:15
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1110 Nursing > 111005 Mental Health Nursing @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920210 Nursing @ 100%
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