Acute Interventions

This installment of the SAMHSA Disaster Behavioral Health Information Series (DBHIS) focuses on interventions, or strategies and approaches to provide behavioral health support, for people in the first 14 days after a disaster. Topics covered include but are not limited to the following:

  • Acute interventions and intervention models, such as Psychological First Aid, Critical Incident Stress Management, and Community Emergency Response Teams
  • International acute intervention models
  • Post-acute intervention models

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2012 National Strategy for Suicide Prevention: Goals and Objectives for Action - U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention
This report outlines a national strategy to guide suicide prevention actions. It includes goals and objectives across four strategic directions: (1) wellness and empowerment, (2) prevention services, (3) treatment and support services, and (4) surveillance, research, and evaluation.

About the Program: Program Overview - Mental Health First Aid USA
This website provides information on mental health first aid, including how to become certified by taking the interactive 12-hour course.

A Guide for Early Responders Supporting Survivors Bereaved by Suicide - Winnipeg Suicide Prevention Network
This guide provides information for first responders who are working with survivors who have lost a loved one to suicide. The manual includes information on reducing the stigma of suicide, assisting survivors, and supporting first responders.

American Association of Suicidology - American Association of Suicidology (AAS)
The American Association of Suicidology promotes suicide prevention and intervention research, public awareness programs, public education, and training for professionals, volunteers, and suicide survivors. This website offers an online directory of suicide survivor support groups.

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention - American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP)
This website offers an online directory of suicide survivor support groups. AFSP has partnered with the National Institute of Mental Health to participate in a workshop addressing research on survivors of suicide, including the role of first responders in working with survivors.

An Update on Acute Stress Disorder - PTSD Research Quarterly
This article gives an update on the DSM-V diagnosis for acute stress disorder, and discusses the diagnosis and treatment of acute stress disorder, including cognitive behavior interventions. [Author: Bryant, R. A.]

Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) - LivingWorks Education
ASIST is a 2-day training program that teaches participants how to assist those at risk for suicide.

A Primer on Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) - International Critical Incident Stress Foundation
This primer provides an overview of CISM as a comprehensive, integrative, multicomponent crisis intervention system to use in a wide variety of community and occupational settings. The document briefly describes the seven core components of CISM and emphasizes the importance of using multiple interventions within the CISM framework.

A Prospective Cohort Study of the Effectiveness of Employer-Sponsored Crisis Interventions After a Major Disaster - International Journal of Emergency Mental Health
This article examines the effect of brief crisis interventions, including critical incident stress management, following the World Trade Center disaster. [Authors: Boscarino, J., Adams, R. & Figley, C.]

Assessment, Crisis Intervention, and Trauma Treatment: The Integrative ACT Intervention Model - Brief Treatment and Crisis Intervention
This paper describes the Assessment, Crisis Intervention, and Trauma Treatment model, which integrates various assessment and triage protocols with the seven-stage crisis intervention model, and the ten-step acute traumatic stress management protocol. [Author: Roberts, A. R.]

Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress - Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress (USUHS, CSTS)
The Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress is dedicated to advancing trauma-informed knowledge, leadership, and methodologies. The Center's work addresses a wide scope of trauma exposure from the consequences of combat, operations other than war, terrorism, natural and human-caused disasters, and public health threats.

CitizenCorps.Gov - Citizen Corps (FEMA)
The mission of Citizen Corps, according to its website, is to harness the power of every individual through education, training, and volunteer service to make communities safer, stronger, and better prepared to respond to the threats of terrorism, crime, public health issues, and disasters of all kinds.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Acute Stress Disorder (CBT for ASD) - International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS)
This treatment manual for clinicians uses cognitive behavioral therapy for acute stress disorder.

Cognitive Processing Therapy for PTSD - U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, National Center for PTSD (VA, PTSD)
This webpage provides information on Cognitive Processing Therapy, which is a model designed to decrease distress from trauma, and discusses four skills used to handle distressing thoughts.

Community Emergency Response Team - U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (DHS, FEMA)
This website provides an overview of the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program and a searchable database to find local CERT programs. Recognizing the importance of preparing citizens, the Federal Emergency Management Agency partnered with the National Fire Academy to expand the CERT materials and made them applicable to all hazards.

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Last Updated: 09/06/2017