WS119. The Impact of Hurricane Michael on the Mental Wellbeing of Area First Responders

Hurricane Michael struck Northwest Florida on October 10, 2018, with the greatest impacts felt from Panama City to Cape San Blas. However, first responders from across the panhandle region of Florida also felt deep effects, as they deployed to assist survivors. Research conducted through area universities highlights the associations among trauma, depression, anxiety, and suicidal risk to those responders employed in or near a disaster zone.  Although the threat for these symptoms continues to remain high, treatment options are scarce and often disorganized. Through a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the 2nd Alarm Project was developed, focusing on four major components: leadership training, mental health literacy, free counseling services, and peer support training.  Learn how research led to the development of this project and ways your community can collaborate.

Organized by Jessica Geib