Behavioral Health Alliance of Texas
The Behavioral Health Alliance of Texas prepares behavioral health care providers to mitigate threats and increase chances for shorter, less costly, and a more successful recovery period after major disaster events. Texas has an extensive history of natural disaster impact. The ability of Texas communities to anticipate and respond to serious disruptions in services as a result of potential manmade and natural disasters is an important consideration in discussions about community preparedness. Within the substance abuse service delivery system and the general behavioral healthcare system, person's behavioral health disorders are especially vulnerable during and in the aftermath of a disaster. Research on the impact of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the delivery of behavioral health treatment services found substantial disruptions in service delivery by all treatment modalities in the aftermath of the attack. Research following hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Ike found similar problems as behavioral health treatment providers struggled to respond and recover from these events. The objectives of this program are to ensure continued access to behavioral health services during and after a disaster event, to assess the ability of behavioral health providers across Texas to respond and recover from a major disaster event, to provide disaster management training and technical assistance to behavioral health treatment providers, and to conduct community wide events that educated citizens in disaster management while celebrating the service of first responders.