Public Health Resources

This installment of the SAMHSA Disaster Behavioral Health Information Series (DBHIS) focuses on public health emergencies, including pandemic influenza, disease outbreaks, and water crises. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines a disease outbreak as an increase in cases of a disease that often happens quickly and is above what is normally expected in a group of people in a particular area ( The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines a pandemic as a global disease outbreak (

This installment covers these topics:
• Pandemic influenza (flu) planning that includes behavioral health, as well as preparedness and coping information
• Information about outbreaks of infectious diseases other than pandemic flu, including the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa in 2014 and 2015
• Water crises, including technological disasters like oil and chemical spills that can cause water crises, and their effects on behavioral health
• Communications to improve public health around a disaster
• General public health emergency preparedness and response

Use the menu bar at left to narrow the results by behavioral health issue or condition, prevention or recovery topic, and more.

Related Resources

Displaying 22 filtered result(s) of 50 total results.
1   2  

ASTHO Legal preparedness series emergency volunteer toolkit - Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO)
This toolkit provides state and federal officials, as well as emergency and disaster preparedness directors and coordinators, with key emergency response volunteer concepts and key federal and state law regulations about emergency volunteers. The toolkit can be used as a resource for legal counsel regarding the deployment of volunteers during emergencies and for educational, training, and planning activities.

Behavioral health and emergency preparedness: Continuity of operations (COOP) - Minnesota Department of Health
On this web page, materials are provided to help behavioral health care providers develop COOP plans for pandemic influenza. A PowerPoint explains the basics of pandemic influenza and the details of planning, and a template can be used to guide providers through consideration of key points and work on critical issues to ensure preparedness for COOP in the event of a pandemic.

CDC crisis and emergency risk communication: CERC pandemic influenza training - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
CDC offers this 1½-day training to anyone interested in developing influenza-specific messaging. Tabletop exercises and informative group discussions are part of the curriculum.

Coping with the emotional impact of public health emergencies: Helping yourself and others - New Jersey Department of Human Services, Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services
This brochure provides an overview of public health emergencies such as pandemic influenza, a description of the associated emotional challenges, and strategies for coping with anxiety and stress. A Spanish version and related video are also available at

Emotional well-being during pandemic flu - Kane County Mental Health Council
This pamphlet provides mental health information that can help individuals prepare for an influenza pandemic. It provides key points on how to maintain a positive outlook, where to seek reliable information, and where to look for additional mental health help.

Infectious diseases and social stigma - Medical and Health Science Journal
In this paper, researchers examine the relationship between stigma and infectious disease and explain the importance of stigma reduction for an effective response to an infectious disease outbreak. They also identify ways to shape policy in the future that may mitigate both social stigma and the impact of infectious disease outbreaks. [Citation: Williams, J., Gonzalez-Medina, D., & Le, Q. Medical and Health Science Journal. 2011; 7: 2-14.]

Influenza: Pandemic preparedness - World Health Organization (WHO)
WHO website provides documents to help guide national and international preparedness and response to pandemics. Also available in Japanese at:

Introduction to risk communication - Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
This online training, developed by the Johns Hopkins University Center for Public Health Preparedness, provides information on how to best share disaster-related information with the public and how people process this type of information.

Mental health and behavioral guidelines for response to a pandemic flu outbreak - Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress (USUHS, CSTS)
The Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress offers guidance on pandemic influenza mental health preparedness and response. The authors list the benefits of using mental health intervention planning tools such as risk and safety communication practices and Psychological First Aid.

Pandemic flu - National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN)
At this part of its website, the NCTSN explains how pandemic flu is different from seasonal flu and lists tips for parents and other caregivers to prepare their families for pandemic flu, manage family stress in the event of a flu pandemic, and monitor themselves and their children for signs of the need for professional mental health support.

Pandemic flu search - National Public Health Information Coalition (NPHIC)
NPHIC offers a database of resources for communication about pandemic influenza. You can search for resources by audience, type of resource, language, and subjects. Resource types include social media, mobile apps, campaign materials, checklists, news, surveys, and toolkits. Audiences include first responders, public health professionals, providers, community-based organizations, mental health organizations, and several populations that may be especially vulnerable in the aftermath of disasters.

Pandemic influenza plan - Psychosocial services preparedness - Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services drafted this plan to help medical staff, first responders, and the general public understand the psychosocial aspects of an influenza pandemic. The plan includes tips for coping with emotional stress and strengthening resilience before, during, and after a pandemic.

Pandemic influenza: Quarantine, isolation and social distancing; Toolbox for public health and public behavioral health professionals - Colorado Department of Human Services, Division of Behavioral Health
This resource provides information and checklists to help public health and behavioral health personnel support communities during quarantine, isolation, or social distancing. It introduces these measures, identifies their psychosocial effects, covers messaging to promote public well-being and health, and lists ways to reduce risks for public health and behavioral health staff. It was developed in 2010 by the Colorado Department of Human Services, Division of Behavioral Health, Disaster Planning and Response Program. [Authors: Havice-Cover, P. J., & Drennen, C.]

Pandemic influenza risk management: WHO interim guidance - World Health Organization (WHO)
This guide provides information on risk assessment at the national level in response to an influenza pandemic. The document includes topics on the key principles of risk communication, national pandemic influenza risk assessment, and national pandemic influenza risk management.

Pandemic preparedness and response - Lessons from the H1N1 Influenza of 2009 - New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM)
The author presents a comprehensive overview of the lessons learned from the global response to the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic and highlights the strengths and weaknesses of the response. The author also presents 15 recommendations developed by the World Health Organization Review Committee to improve response protocols. [Citation: Fineberg, H.V. New England Journal of Medicine. 2014; 370: 1335-1342. doi: 10.1056/NEJMra1208802]

1   2  
Last Updated: 09/13/2016