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Challenges in Implementing Disaster Mental Health Programs: State Program Directors' Perspective

The Crisis Counseling Assistance and Training Program grants supplemental federal funding to states and territories for individual and community crisis intervention services in the aftermath of presidentially declared disasters. Little research has been conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of these services, and few data exist to guide policies and programs. A qualitative study of thirty-eight state program directors (representing 95 percent of all such programs over a five-year period) identified the numerous challenges that states experience when planning, applying for, implementing, maintaining, phasing out, and evaluating these federally funded programs. The results highlighted the importance of including mental health in state-level disaster plans, fostering collaborative relationships across institutions, clarifying program guidelines, sharing innovations across programs, and building state capacity for needs assessment and program evaluation.

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Elrod, Carrie L., Jessica L. Hamblen, and Fran H. Norris. 2006. "Challenges in Implementing Disaster Mental Health Programs: State Program Directors' Perspective." The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science (April):152-170. http://ann.sagepub.com/cgi/reprint/604/1/152

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