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J Natl Med Assoc. 2011 Jul;103(7):624-34.

Assessment of training needs for disaster mental health preparedness in black communities.

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HERMES, LLC, Wilmington, NC 28409, USA.


Reducing racial disparities in postdisaster mental health requires the integration of unique and complex community challenges in disaster planning. We conducted focus group discussions with 13 community leaders and 7 clinical providers in eastern North Carolina to inform the adaptation of a competency-based training model in postdisaster mental health for black communities. The audience-specific perspectives on disaster mental health and training priorities were identified by structured thematic analyses. Community leaders and clinical providers without personal ties to the local black population were unaware of internal networks and other community resources. Conversely, most black community leaders and clinical providers were unaware of local disaster response resources. All participants identified training in coordination, outreach to reduce mental health stigma, and cultural competence as priority training needs. Black community leaders also were concerned about their inclusion in local planning and leveraging resources. These inputs and suggestions made for tailoring with culturally appropriate language and processes guided the development of learning objectives, content, and field testing of the feasibility of trainer the trainer delivery of postdisaster mental health training for clinical providers and community leaders serving vulnerable black populations.

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