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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.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

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.

METHOD:

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.

RESULTS:

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.

CONCLUSIONS:

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.

PMID:
24865201
DOI:
10.1521/psyc.2014.77.2.199
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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