The Disaster Services Unit is responsible for the statewide coordination of disaster mental health responses to major disasters in support of local mental health government. This includes disaster assistance to local mental health in their emergency preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation efforts to assure the disaster mental health needs of California citizens are met following major natural, manmade, and war caused disasters.
Develop and maintain the Mental Health Section of the State Emergency Plan. Participate in federal, state, local emergency exercises. Provide training and technical assistance to local mental health on planning, preparedness, and mitigation issues. Provide county mental health staff with training materials and educational materials on human response to disasters and disaster preparedness.
Coordinate statewide disaster response and recovery activities. Provide assessment of need, service delivery, and federal grant application requirements technical assistance, consultation, and training to local mental health. Initiate the application process for federal funding.
Administer all FEMA funded disaster crisis counseling assistance and training grants. Provide grant design and implementation consultation and technical assistance to local mental health. Monitor grant recipient programs and funding expenditures through site visits and county reports. Prepare mandated reports for the federal government.
Participate and assume mental health related responsibilities in federal, state, and local planning groups and advisory committees, i.e., Statewide Emergency Planning Committee, FEMA Regional Interagency Steering Committee for California Response Planning and the Local Mental Health Coordinators Regional Committees.
Recommend, analyze, interpret and implement federal and state legislation, laws, regulations, and policies related to federal grants and emergency activities. Develop DMH disaster mental health policy guidelines. Provide compliance direction to local mental health programs and grant recipients.
Federal, State and local Disaster Response/Recovery Agencies and the private sector relief organizations, i.e., American Red Cross, Salvation Army, etc.