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Psychiatry. 2014 Summer;77(2):199-205. doi: 10.1521/psyc.2014.77.2.199.

Examining disaster mental health workforce capacity.



We examined the capacity of the disaster mental health workforce in Victoria, Australia, to provide the three evidence-supported intervention types of psychological first aid, skills for psychological recovery, and intensive mental health treatments.


Utilizing data from a cross-professional, state-level disaster mental health workforce survey (n = 791), we developed composite capacity indicators (CCI) for each intervention and performed logistic regression analyses to examine key predictors of disaster mental health workforce capacity.


CCI profiles highlighted significant gaps in the disaster mental health capacity of Victorian providers, with only 32-42% able to deliver current best practice interventions. Key predictors of workforce capacity common and unique to interventions were highlighted.


Key strategies to raise Victoria's disaster mental health workforce capacity should focus on targeted multilevel training in best practice interventions, creation of practice opportunities, and structural provider support/engagement. CCIs focused on best practice interventions provide a methodology for rapid workforce capacity assessment that can facilitate disaster preparedness planning, capacity building, and delivery of quality disaster mental health services.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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