Learn about disaster behavioral health

Disaster behavioral health is the provision of mental health, substance abuse, and stress management services to disaster survivors and responders.

Behavioral Health Disaster Responders 

Behavioral Health Disaster Responders, or crisis counselors, provide a short-term intervention with individuals and/or groups experiencing psychological reactions to a major emergency and/or disaster and its aftermath.

This type of intervention is not therapy in the traditional mental health sense — responders (or 'counselors') link victims to disaster relief associations within the shortest amount of time while assessing victims for their need for counseling services. A typical intervention may include a referral to services, support, or food and shelter.

For more information about the Massachusetts Behavioral Health Disaster Responders, please contact Liam Seward, Chief of Staff, Massachusetts Department of Mental Health at (617) 626-8170 or liam.seward@state.ma.us. If you would like to register to volunteer as a behavioral health disaster responder in Massachusetts, please visit MA Responds.

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