Rural Disaster Behavioral Health: A Guide for Outreach Workers and Crisis Counselors

Rural communities represent an estimated 20% of the nation’s population and are often disproportionately affected by disaster events. The rural population is composed of a rich range of races, ethnicities, cultures, genders, sexual orientations, religions, employment and income levels, skills and talents, and functional and access differences and needs. This diversity is linked to the varying vulnerabilities and strengths that affect individual and community capabilities to respond to and recover from disasters. This Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration guide provides knowledge and strategies to best support diverse rural communities. It considers risk factors, strengths, and common disaster reactions unique to rural communities to support best practices for ensuring disaster resilience and recovery.

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