60,000 disaster victims speak: Part II. Summary and implications of the disaster mental health research

Psychiatry. Fall 2002;65(3):240-60. doi: 10.1521/psyc.


On the basis of the literature reviewed in Part I of this two-part series (Norris, Friedman, Watson, Byrne, Diaz, and Kaniasty, this volume), the authors recommend early intervention following disasters, especially when the disaster is associated with extreme and widespread damage to property, ongoing financial problems for the stricken community, violence that resulted from human intent, and a high prevalence of trauma in the form of injuries, threat to life, and loss of life. Meeting the mental health needs of children, women, and survivors in developing countries is particularly critical. The family context is central to understanding and meeting those needs. Because of the complexity of disasters and responses to them, inter-agency cooperation and coordination are extremely important elements of the mental health response. Altogether, the research demands that we think ecologically and design and test societal- and community-level interventions for the population at large and conserve scarce clinical resources for those most in need.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Disaster Planning*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Health Services
  • Needs Assessment
  • Relief Work
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / ethnology
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / prevention & control*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology
  • Survivors / psychology*