The role of law in addressing mental health-related aspects of disasters and promoting resilience

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Law plays a critical role in emergency preparedness and disaster response by establishing an infrastructure for the response and facilitating coordination among the federal, state, and local governments. Once a disaster occurs, certain legal mechanisms are activated to ensure that individuals' needs for mental health care are met, both for pre-existing and emergent conditions. This includes the rapid deployment of mental health care personnel and the implementation of crisis counseling programs in affected regions. By facilitating an influx of resources, including personnel, supplies, and financial assistance, the law can help communities quickly rebound and return to a sense of normal. Drawing on examples from the United States, this article illustrates the diverse ways in which the law simultaneously addresses mental health-related aspects of disasters and promotes resilience within affected communities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)134-140
Number of pages7
JournalInternational journal of emergency mental health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 26 2012



  • Crisis counseling
  • Disaster mental health
  • Legal
  • Liability
  • Licensure portability
  • Psychotropic medication
  • Resilience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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