Disaster Behavioral Health

Resources and Information regarding the Disaster Behavioral Health Response Team

In response to the terrorist events of September 11, 2001 and the need to improve our ability to respond to disasters of all types, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services developed its program for disaster behavioral health services. Currently, the Disaster Behavioral Health (DBH) program is coordinated from within the Division of Public Health Services, Bureau of Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Recovery (EPRR). 

DBH is located in Concord, New Hampshire on the grounds of State Office Park South. In coordination with other emergency response partners, DBH is involved in training, planning, consulting, and response and recovery activities. The Disaster Behavioral Health Response Team (DBHRT) provides disaster related services throughout New Hampshire to those impacted by critical incidents including victims, their families, and first responders such as police, fire, emergency medical personnel, and military.

In full support of the concept "all disasters are local," we attempt to create a bridge between local communities and state and federal resources needed to mitigate the psychological consequences of critical incidents. The Disaster Behavioral Health Response Team (DBHRT) is operational statewide. To date, more than 900 behavioral health professionals have been trained and are available for activation and deployment. Team members have received training in the general concepts of disaster behavioral health, such as disaster related behavior and common stress reactions, unique needs of varying populations, their roles in a response effort, Incident Command System, and various DBH interventions such as Psychological First Aid and Critical Incident Stress Management. DBHRT members participate in simulated drills and exercises in their communities alongside their public health, public safety and emergency medical response partners. Team members have been issued a photo I.D. giving them authorized access to sites in the event of a disaster. Public information materials, including coping tips and strategies, are available upon request.

For more information about the Disaster Behavioral Health Response Team, disaster behavioral health training, how to join a team, or to receive educational materials, please contact the Disaster Behavioral Health Coordinator.