Background: Addressing behavioral health impacts of major disasters is a priority of increasing national attention, but there are limited examples of implementation strategies to guide new disaster responses. We provide a case study of an effort being applied in response to the 2016 Great Flood in Baton Rouge.
Methods: Resilient Baton Rouge was designed to support recovery after major flooding by building local capacity to implement an expanded model of depression collaborative care for adults, coupled with identifying and responding to local priorities and assets for recovery. For a descriptive, initial evaluation, we coupled analysis of documents and process notes with descriptive surveys of participants in initial training and orientation, including preliminary comparisons among licensed and non-licensed participants to identify training priorities.
Results: We expanded local behavioral health service delivery capacity through subgrants to four agencies, provision of training tailored to licensed and non-licensed providers and development of advisory councils and partnerships with grassroots and government agencies. We also undertook initial efforts to enhance national collaboration around post-disaster resilience.
Conclusion: Our partnered processes and lessons learned may be applicable to other communities that aim to promote resilience, as well as planning for and responding to post-disaster behavioral health needs.
Keywords: behavioral health; cognitive behavioral therapy; collaborative care; community health workers; community resilience; depression; disaster.