Current Psychiatry Reports

, 20:88 | Cite as

Leveraging Technology in Post-Disaster Settings: the Role of Digital Health/Telemental Health

  • Eugene F. AugusterferEmail author
  • Richard F. Mollica
  • James Lavelle
Psychiatry in the Digital Age (J Shore, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Psychiatry in the Digital Age


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.

Recent Findings

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.


Digital 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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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eugene F. Augusterfer
    • 1
    Email author
  • Richard F. Mollica
    • 2
  • James Lavelle
    • 1
  1. 1.Harvard Program in Refugee TraumaHarvard Global Mental Health ProgramCambridgeUSA
  2. 2.Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma, Massachusetts General HospitalHarvard Medical SchoolCambridgeUSA

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