This installment of the SAMHSA Disaster Behavioral Health Information Series (DBHIS) focuses on disaster behavioral health apps for mental health and substance use professionals, disaster responders, and consumers to help them plan for, respond to, and recover from disasters or traumatic events. Professionals are increasingly using smartphones and tablets to treat and serve patients and survivors. Mobile apps and tools allow professionals and other responders to have disaster behavioral health resources at their fingertips and to document and track their interactions more easily and effectively. Consumers can use mobile apps to help prepare their families for disasters, communicate during disasters, and help with the recovery that follows.
The apps in this installment are available for free and can be used on most iOS and Android devices. There are apps available for both behavioral health professionals and consumers covering a variety of topics, such as preparedness, disaster alerts, Psychological First Aid, coping strategies, and responder self-care.
It is important to note that conditions during and after disasters like power and network outages may make apps and their data inaccessible. All information on smartphones and tablets may be unavailable in a power outage if there is no place to charge devices. It is a good idea to write down information you may need in a disaster that you would otherwise access through an app or another feature on your mobile device, such as a list of important phone numbers.
While many of the apps in this installment are designed to help people after disasters, they are not intended to replace professional behavioral health support following disasters. People experiencing disaster-related distress can get immediate support from the SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline by calling or texting 800-985-5990.
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