Local, state, and federal emergency response and management efforts begin before the happening of an incident or disaster. The response efforts envisage the execution of mitigation efforts, formulation of response plans, and the creation of emergency response frameworks. The efforts are aimed at reducing vulnerabilities and address the mental health and trauma needs caused should a disaster like a terrorist attack or natural phenomenon occur. From the onset, disaster response managers and teams coordinate personnel and resources required to assist the victims of disasters. Local public safety agencies like the police, fire departments, and emergency medical services are inevitably the first at the scene when disasters occur. Local, state, and federal governments can work together to rebuild and support victims through the provision of financial resources, mental health services, and housing support.
Resources Offered By Jacksonville City
Jacksonville City supports victims of disasters through financial resources in the form of hazard mitigation grants. The funding support is issued as part of victim assistance and compensation programs (Jacksonville, n.d). The victims are provided with food and other essential supplies. The funding is available to eligible people affected by disasters like terrorist attacks or natural calamities. The victims can access the funds through local organizations such as Hubbard House and Daniel Memorial (Jacksonville, n.d). The individuals are not directly eligible to apply directly for the funds but receive the financial resources through organizations that receive grants through the program (Jacksonville, n.d). The financial resources function to provide emergency support to victims to develop adaptive capacities, reduce stress and alleviate the symptoms of trauma following the occurrence of disasters and calamities. The funds are utilized to assist victims to recover and restore their economic stability after traumatic events.
Jacksonville City additionally offers trauma-informed healthcare resources to address the mental health and wellness of victims of disasters. The mental health services are provided by National Alliance on Mental Health and the Department of Health and Human Services at the local levels (North Carolina, n.d). The efforts are aimed at reducing vulnerabilities and address the mental health and trauma needs caused by disasters. The areas that the resources focus on include family services, support services, death notification, and psychological services (North Carolina, n.d). Moreover, the physical spaces offered by Jacksonville City Hall accommodate children and are adequately equipped by psychologists and other mental health professionals to offer counseling services to victims of trauma (Jacksonville, n.d). The resources are accessed through crisis counseling outlines, mobile outreach teams, debriefings, and psychological service provider training. Jacksonville City oversees the immediate trauma-informed crisis services provided by humanitarian institutions at the local levels.
Resources Offered By FEMA
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers emergency housing assistance resources to victims of terrorism or natural disaster. The FEMA emergency resource works to develop, sustain, and improve individuals’ ability to prepare, protect, recover and mitigate natural disasters or hazards (FEMA, 2020). FEMA provides housing help to individuals and families that have lost their homes due to terrorism or natural disasters. The funding is utilized by the victims to build new homes or to relocate to safer houses (FEMA, 2020). The psychological stress resulting from homelessness is hence reduced amicably. Tenants and homeowners qualify for the housing help program. The individuals can access the housing emergency resource by registering and applying for the assistance offered by FEMA. Individuals who have already registered have until 12 months to submit their insurance information for review (FEMA, 2020). Notably, FEMA provides assistance on items not covered by insurance. The housing support resource is issued based on the type o disaster declared by the applicant.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency also offers mental health personnel to help victims of disasters. The personnel are supported to offer crisis counseling assistance and training programs. These programs work to help assist individuals and families impacted by disasters to recover through broad arrays of community-based outreach and psycho-educational services (FEMA, 2020). The individuals utilize the community outreach and psych-educational services to recover from adverse reactions to disasters and begin to rebuild their new lives. Importantly, the programs help survivors to recognize their current predicaments, reduce stress, provide emotional supports, and aid victims renew their disaster recovery plans. The services enveloped in the programs include supportive crisis counseling, education, developing coping skills, and how to establish links to appropriate external resources (FEMA, 2020). Hence, the mental health personnel engages in mental health support and training in regions marked as to disasters.
Provision of Mental and Trauma Support
Local, state, and federal agencies could advertise the provision of mental health services to victims of trauma through mental health promotion. Health promotion initiatives at all levels of government envisage advocating for individual and collective interventions when tackling mental health and trauma arising from disasters (North & Pfefferbaum, 2013). The mental health promotion exhibits familiar features anchored on collaboration and recurrent cycles of programs, planning, implementation, and evaluation (North & Pfefferbaum, 2013). The intention of the promotion intervention is to broaden awareness on how people can develop capacities to manage their own mental health and trauma after disasters. The mental help promotion focus on examining the needs of people, priorities, and collaboration within communities and agencies. Furthermore, the promotion intervention can highlight the plans of action, gathering resources, and monitoring mental health and support activities (North & Pfefferbaum, 2013). In addition, the promotion activities highlight available help and support offered by the local, state, and federal governments. This ensures victims of disasters know which agency to turn to when in need of help.
Local, state, and federal governments can provide meaningful mental health and trauma support to victims of disasters if they develop capacities to interface their disaster response systems. This is beneficial during disaster mobilization initiatives. The governments can respond to high magnitude disasters if they are able to quickly integrate networks and response agencies (Marquez & Saxena, 2016). The focus is the provision of emergency financial support and trauma-related care services so that victims do not suffer from stress and distress after a disaster. The levels of governments can equally provide timely and phase-appropriate mental health services to disaster victims and families (Marquez & Saxena, 2016). The local, state and federal government should deliver Department of Mental Health (DMH) services at the disaster location alongside long-term trauma support to affected victims and families. The focus is the provision of emergency financial support and trauma-related care services so that victims do not suffer from prolonged stress and discomfort after the occurrence of disasters.
Disasters inflict mental health problems and trauma on victims. Disasters cause the loss of lives, livelihood, and property. Jacksonville City alongside the state of North Carolina offers emergency assistance and a continuum of care to mental health and traumatized victims over the next days, months, and subsequent years. Besides, FEMA provides emergency housing support to individuals and families that have lost their homes during disasters to relocate or construct new houses. The housing supports help to reduce the stress that often leads to mental health problems. Additionally, FEMA provides other funds to support counseling and training sessions meant to educate the victims on how they can reconstruct their new lives. Importantly, the local, state, and federal governments advertise for mental health support through health promotion programs. These agencies can interface and sponsor the timely provision of emergency and trauma-related support in an attempt to offer meaningful help to disaster victims.
FEMA. (2020). Programs to support disaster survivors. FEMA. Retrieved from https://www.fema.gov/assistance/individual/disaster-survivors#households.
Jacksonville. (n.d). Hurricane recovery. Jacksonville. Retrieved from https://www.jacksonvillenc.gov/830/Hurricane-Florence-Recovery.
Marquez, P., & Saxena, S. (2016). Making mental health a global priority. Cerebrum: The Dana Forum On Brain Science, 2016, cer-10-16.
North Carolina. (n.d). Disaster assistance. North Carolina. Retrieved from https://www.nc.gov/agencies/volunteer/disaster-assistance.
North, C., & Pfefferbaum, B. (2013). Mental health response to community disasters: A systematic review. JAMA, 310(5):507–518.