Helping People with Serious Mental Illness and Substance Use Disorders During Disasters

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Over the past few years, people across the United States have dealt with disasters of various sizes such as category 5 hurricanes, mass shootings, and wildfires. Most people touched by a disaster, whether directly or indirectly, are affected in some way. Many disaster survivors are able to move on and cope with the “new normal” of life after a disaster, while others may find their situation harder to handle. Preexisting conditions such as a history of serious mental illness (SMI) or a substance use disorder (SUD) may play a role in the ease of their recovery.

This special double issue of The Dialogue from the SAMHSA Disaster Technical Assistance Center (DTAC) highlights the process of assisting disaster survivors with SMI and/or SUDs after a disaster. Authors share their knowledge on how these individuals may need additional support to aid their recovery after a disaster and how to provide better assistance.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

Published: October 2919

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