November 13, 2019

EPIC Exchange


Don't keep this great resource to yourself! Please share it with your colleagues and networks. If you would like more information on Emergency Preparedness and Response, visit CDC's Emergency Preparedness & Response website.


Learning Opportunities and Resources


Online SAMHSA DTAC Training Courses

SAMHSA's Disaster Technical Assistance Center’s free online trainings are designed to improve awareness and understanding of the behavioral health effects of disasters.

Coping with a Disaster or Traumatic Event:Resources for State and Local Governments

Emergencies can have a significant impact on individuals’ mental and behavioral health. Visit this page for tips to help state and local health departments address mental health management in each phase of a disaster (pre-event, response, recovery, and evaluation).

CDC Resources in Languages Other than English

CDC has materials available in languages other than English and Spanish. Topics include emergency preparedness and response, diseases and conditions, data and statistics, environmental health, healthy living, injury, violence and safety, life stages and populations, travelers’ health, and workplace safety and health. The information comes in various formats available for sharing and downloading. All the resources are free to share. Additional resources will be added periodically so please visit often.



EPIC Exclusive: SAMHSA

A man and woman stand arm-in-arm overlooking the remains of their house and neighborhood after a disaster.


What is the mission of your organization? 

The mission of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities.

What is the role of your organization in a public health emergency? 

SAMHSA is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the health of the nation and to improve the lives of individuals living with mental and substance use disorders and their families.

SAMHSA’s Disaster Behavioral Health (DBH) Program provides disaster response expertise and technical assistance to aid victims, responders, and mental health providers. In support of that role, DBH develops innovative tools and technologies for disaster training, toolkits, and resources to communities, and disseminates them to federal partners and other stakeholders.

Through an interagency agreement, the Emergency Mental Health and Traumatic Stress Services Branch of the SAMSHA Center for Mental Health Services works with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide technical assistance, consultation, and training for state and local mental health personnel. The Crisis Counseling Assistance and Training Program (CCP) is a short-term disaster relief grant for states, U.S. territories, and federally recognized tribes. CCP grants are awarded after a presidential disaster declaration. CCP funding supports community-based outreach, counseling, and other mental health services to survivors of natural and human-caused disasters.

How do you plan for emergencies? 

Successful response to and recovery from a disaster is greatly enhanced by having an emergency preparedness plan with a behavioral health component. You can find resources to assist with all aspects of disaster behavioral health planning on the SAMHSA website. These include the Promising Practices webcast series, which is available to assist DBH planners with drafting a comprehensive behavioral health emergency response plan. 

What is one experience or lesson learned that you have from an emergency response? 

Most disaster survivors are resilient and will recover with no additional assistance. However, some people may need additional help during the recovery process. Certain groups or populations may be at greater risk for developing severe reactions to a disaster or traumatic event. For more information or additional help in recovering, visit the SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline webpage on warning signs and risk factors for emotional distress.

What is one piece of advice that you would give to other EPIC partners? 

Disasters, both natural and human-caused, affect people and communities in different ways. As you begin to rebuild and recover, remember that disaster survivors may show physical and emotional signs of stress, and disasters may affect them financially. Sadness, grief, and anger are just some of the common emotions survivors may experience. Reactions to the disaster may occur not only in people with direct experience of a disaster, but also in those who were indirectly affected through repeated exposure to media coverage of the incident.


Contact Us


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Rd
Atlanta, GA 30329 

Contact CDC-INFO
800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: 888-232-6348 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

1600 Clifton Rd   Atlanta, GA 30329   1-800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636)   TTY: 888-232-6348
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