Leveraging Technology in Post-Disaster Settings: the Role of Digital Health/Telemental Health
The Purpose Review
This paper will review the literature on global disasters and the mental health impact of disasters, and discuss the use of digital health/telemental health in providing care in post-disaster settings.
Global disasters, natural and manmade, are on the rise. As a consequence, there are increases in the health and mental health impact in the affected populations. We examine the literature on the health and mental health impact of disasters and the role of digital health/telemental health in response to meeting those needs. We examine the use of digital health/telemental health in two case examples, one of a natural disaster and one of a man-made disaster. Finally, we examine a blended telemental health model for collaboration between mental health and primary care providers in post-disaster settings.
Digital health/telemental health is positioned on the cusp of the technology explosion, thus bringing much needed medical and mental health care to previously under-served populations.
KeywordsDigital health Telemental health Telepsychiatry Mental health Disaster response PTSD Depression
The authors would like to acknowledge our gratitude to Barbara M. Peyser, PsyD, for her ongoing support, reading, and editing of this manuscript. We are truly grateful for the kind manner in which she read, edited, and re-read this paper.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
Eugene F. Augusterfer, Richard F. Mollica, and James Lavelle declare no conflict of interest.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance
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