Preparing Scotland: responding to the psychosocial and mental health needs of people affected by emergencies

A supplement to Preparing Scotland: care for people affected by emergencies.

Questions to ask

Although psychosocial problems may often be hidden during the aftermath of an emergency, it is important that responders are aware of this aspect of caring for people and are equipped to provide the appropriate support. The following questions can be used to prompt discussion about how well prepared responder agencies may be:

1 Do you respond to emergencies in which your staff or members of the public might suffer psychosocially, e.g. where there is loss of life, physical harm, threats to personal safety, loss of housing, or economic hardship?

2 All responder agencies have the potential to lessen or aggravate the psychosocial impacts of emergencies - have your plans been reviewed from this perspective?

3 Could you or your staff provide psychological first aid?

4 Do you have effective links with partner organisations to ensure that specialist advice on psychosocial matters is available when planning for emergencies and when responding?

5 Do your public communications plans and other advice consider the potential psychosocial impacts of emergencies?

6 Does your training and exercising programme include the management of the potential psychosocial impacts of emergencies?


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