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Georgia Launches Disaster Mental Health Web Site

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

The Georgia Department of Human Resources (DHR) is proud to launch a new web site that addresses the effects that natural and man-made disasters can have on citizen’s mental and behavioral health. The Disaster Mental Health web site georgiadisaster.info contains information, recommendations and guidance on how to handle personal and community crisis situations, as well as how to bounce back from a crisis.

The web site was developed by the University of West Georgia in collaboration with DHR’s Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Addictive Diseases (MHDDAD) and the Division of Public Health (PH) using federal funds from the Bioterrorism Health Community Preparedness Program.

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“The Disaster Mental Health Web site will serve as a valuable resource to the citizens of Georgia,” said Gwen Skinner, director of MHDDAD. “It focuses on the resiliency of people –how they adapt to adversity – and the fundamental principle of recovery that is the focus of MHDDAD.”

While most people will recover from disasters on their own, there are some who will need assistance. The Web site strongly promotes disaster preparedness and planning to help Georgia residents’ better manage the feelings of loss, fear and anxiety that accompany disasters.

“This web site will be an asset to the Division of Public Health’s Preparedness efforts as an important source of education and information before, during and after a crisis,” said Dr. Patrick O’Neal, director of PH’s Office of Preparedness.

The web site contains specific recommendations and resources for public safety, mental health, healthcare professionals and military personnel. It also includes tabs with information for vulnerable populations such as how to prepare children and teens for disasters, coping strategies, grief and loss education, resources for older adults and persons with disabilities.