Competencies for Disaster Mental Health

Richard V. King, Frederick M. Burkle, Lauren E. Walsh, Carol S North

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Competencies for disaster mental health are essential to domestic and international disaster response capabilities. Numerous consensus-based competency sets for disaster health workers exist, but no prior study identifies and discusses competency sets pertaining specifically to disaster mental health. Relevant competency sets were identified via MEDLINE, PsycINFO, EBSCO, and Google Scholar searches. Sixteen competency sets are discussed, some providing core competencies for all disaster responders and others for specific responder groups within particular professions or specialties. Competency sets specifically for disaster mental health professionals are lacking, with the exception of one set that focused only on cultural competence. The identified competency sets provide guidance for educators in developing disaster mental health curricula and for disaster health workers seeking education and training in disaster mental health. Valid, criterion-based competencies are required to guide selection and training of mental health professionals for the disaster mental health workforce. In developing these competencies, consideration should be given to the requirements of both domestic and international disaster response efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCurrent psychiatry reports
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2015


  • Competencies
  • Competency-based education
  • Disaster health
  • Disaster medicine
  • Disaster mental health
  • Professionalization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Competencies for Disaster Mental Health'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this