Child Disaster Mental Health Services: a Review of the System of Care, Assessment Approaches, and Evidence Base for Intervention

Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2016 Jan;18(1):5. doi: 10.1007/s11920-015-0647-0.


Several decades of research have informed our knowledge of children's reactions to disasters and the factors that influence their reactions. This article describes the system of care for child disaster mental health services using population risk to determine needed services and a stepped care approach built on assessment and monitoring to advance children to appropriate services. To assess the evidence base for disaster interventions, recent reviews of numerous child disaster mental health interventions are summarized.

Keywords: Assessment; Child disaster mental health interventions; Children; Disaster mental health services; Disaster system of care; Disasters; Stepped care.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child Health Services / organization & administration
  • Disaster Medicine / methods
  • Disaster Victims* / psychology
  • Disaster Victims* / rehabilitation
  • Disasters*
  • Humans
  • Mental Health Services / organization & administration
  • Needs Assessment
  • Psychological Techniques
  • Psychological Trauma* / etiology
  • Psychological Trauma* / psychology
  • Psychological Trauma* / rehabilitation
  • Risk