Journal article

Examining Disaster Mental Health Workforce Capacity

Lennart Reifels, Lucio Naccarella, Grant Blashki, Jane Pirkis



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 ..

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Funding Acknowledgements

This study was funded through the Natural Disaster Resilience Grant Scheme of the Office of the Emergency Services Commissioner in Victoria and the Australian Attorney-General's Department. The authors wish to thank Rachel Sore, MSc, and Matthew Spittal, Ph.D., for providing valuable statistical advice in relation to the paper, as well as the following agencies which facilitated the conduct of the research: the Victorian Departments of Health and Human Services, the Australian Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health, the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, the Australian Association of Social Workers, the Australian Psychological Society, Occupational Therapy Australia, the Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses, the Australian Nursing Federation (Victoria Branch), General Practice Victoria, the Australian Counselling Association, the Victorian Council of Churches, Beyondblue: The National Depression and Anxiety Initiative and the Australian Red Cross. An earlier version of this paper was presented at the XIII Conference of the European Society for Traumatic Stress Studies in Bologna, Italy, in June 2013.