DISASTER MENTAL HEALTH
Based on the scenario, local law enforcement agencies would already be aware of the situation. The Regional Center for Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management has been mobilized. The obvious supposition would be that the incident commander has already notified the Arkansas State Department of Emergency Management, specifically Anthony Coy, and the Northwest Arkansas Area Coordinator that encompasses Craighead County, at (870) 935-3094, which is located at 511 Union, Room 010, Jonesboro, AR 72401.
The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM) is the state equilivilant of the United States Homeland Security and Preparedness Agency. The ADEM coordinates the resources, activities and proficiencies to prevent and protect against disasters, alleviate the impact of disasters by responding to events and promote the recovery from events as well as working to impede possible future risks to the security of the state and its inhabitants and inhibit the impact of prospective events. (Arkansas.gov, 2014) The State of Arkansas’ Emergency Operations Center (SECO) is located at ADEM.
SECO is a compendium of envoys from various other state agencies. Incorporating both of these vital agencies in one location provides for greater efficiency in the event of a disaster or crisis event and improves the ability for a rapid response. (Arkansas.gov, 2014)
Necessary Behavioral Mental Health intervention does not end at the point first responders have successfully contained the actual crisis. The ongoing need for Behavioral Mental Health services will continue for an extended length of time when a traumatic event such as that depicted in the scenario occur. A copious number of individuals will have been impacted, either directly or secondarily by an event of this magnitude. There are, actually, a reasonable number of entities that are capable of providing the necessary Behavioral Mental Health services that will be necessitated.
One excellent source of locating legitimate providers can be accessed at the web site maintained by the United Way of Northwest Arkansas. NASW mission is to identify agencies that incorporate the procedures involved in preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery and provide services before, during and after a natural or manmade incident, including weather-related disasters, accidents, terrorism or violent events. NASW utilizes cooperation with Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) and the Arkansas Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW-AR) the NASW-AR and with the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management to identify appropriate entities and provide service and contact information in a readily accessible location. Their site that is designated “Get connected – Get Answers” it provides an extremely comprehensive list of both public and private agencies that provide Behavioral Mental Health services in the Jonesboro area. The information they provide can...