Rebuilding and repairing physical and social systems damaged and impacted by disasters in a way that maintains and creates strong communities and residents.
Community resilience is the capacity of the community as a whole to prepare for, respond to, and recover from adverse events and unanticipated crises that threaten the health of all. It is about transforming disaster planning and response from just “me” to include “we”.
Achieving community resilience means involving the full range of community-based organizations and agencies in preparedness, response, and recovery planning activities, and broadening the understanding of disaster preparedness to include community health and well-being.
Disaster Stress and Mental Health
Initial shock of disaster results in responses of stress, worry, grief, loss, anger, hopelessness. The long recovery road often results in persistence of symptoms of depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress syndrome for many. Based on post-Katrina epidemiology may affected up to 40% of children and adults from the impacted areas.
Preliminary efforts of the communities' responses have appropriately focused on immediate needs of specific populations (those still living in shelters, for examples)
Local agency and nonprofit staff have been impacted by the floods themselves. Regional capacity for provision of clinical evidence-based practice is limited in the affected areas.
Short-term needs will turn to longer-term issues for much of the population. While strained providers and recovering clinical organizations seek to resume operations, many will struggle to ramp up services relevant to emerging population mental health needs.
Opportunities for enhancing collaboration and resilience are needed.