New Resource Available! DTAC Dialogue: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in Disaster Behavioral Health

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Mar 27, 2024, 10:02:14 AMMar 27

SAMHSA DTAC is pleased to share our latest issue of The Dialogue on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in Disaster Behavioral Health:

Members of the disaster behavioral health (DBH) field often note the importance of meeting survivors where they are to ensure healthy coping and effective resilience building. It is therefore essential for DBH professionals to recognize the importance of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA). Intentional efforts to promote and support DEIA in DBH can help ensure disaster-affected communities and survivors receive services that address their unique needs. Tailoring DBH efforts to address community and individual preferences, backgrounds, concerns, and needs can ensure individual and whole community healing and improve the delivery and reception of mental health and substance use services during and after disasters.

This issue of The Dialogue from the SAMHSA Disaster Technical Assistance Center (DTAC) explores the importance of incorporating DEIA into DBH efforts and strategies. It includes perspectives and guidance from professionals in the DBH field who share their experience with providing support to diverse communities with varying needs. Download the Full Issue.

Issue Highlights

How Michigan’s “Stay Well” Program Supported Diversity During the COVID-19 Disaster

This article highlights how the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services focused their Crisis Counseling Assistance and Training Program (CCP) to support diverse population groups. Ranging from older adults and school-age children to essential workers, the program designed strategies and efforts to include the full community affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

DEI: A Legacy in Action

In this article, Dr. Kermit Crawford shares his experience participating in the response to 9/11 to reflect on the ongoing need for improvement in equitable disaster behavioral health response. The article highlights the importance of the implementation of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) to better address the needs of diverse communities.

Stress, Resilience, and Psychological First Aid for Buffalo: An Exercise in Cultural Humility

In this article, staff at the State University of New York at New Paltz share their experience responding to a racially motivated act of mass violence and their lessons learned for serving a diverse community. It includes key takeaways to create and implement DEIA-conscious trainings.

Recommended Resources

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Disaster Planning and Response

SAMHSA DTAC has a page on the importance of DEI in disaster planning. It shares best practices and lists resources to help you incorporate DEI into your disaster planning and response. Resources include guides, tip sheets, and newsletters.

Guide to Cultural Awareness for Disaster Response Volunteers

This guide developed by the American Psychological Association provides tips for disaster response volunteers on communicating effectively with people from cultures different from their own. The guide goes into detail on tips, including how to tune in to nonverbal behaviors, learn by asking, and more. It also has a page explaining what different words mean, including culture, race, ethnicity, diversity, and multiculturalism.

Cultural Competence in Preparedness Planning Webinar

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention held a webinar in April 2019 that discussed the disproportionate effects a disaster can have on people of various cultures. Learn more about why cultural competence matters in disaster planning and resources available to help you build on your understanding.

Action Toolkit—In the Eye of the Storm: A People’s Guide to Transforming Crisis & Advancing Equity in the Disaster Continuum

This guide from the NAACP can help organizations build equity into the different phases of emergency management, including prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery. Each module can stand alone, allowing you to utilize what is most relevant to your community.

We hope you find these resources helpful! Please feel free to share additional resources on this topic by replying to this conversation.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at 1-800-308-3515 or



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