Oswego County Department of Social Services

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Oswego County Disaster Mental Health Response & Recovery Team

The Oswego County Mental Hygiene Division has a team of volunteers, experienced with counseling, health care, emergency or crisis related services, who have been trained as Mental Health Disaster Responders to be able to respond to the psychological first aid needs of victims, volunteers, and/or first responders. The team consists of local professionals, paraprofessionals, community and human service personnel.

No matter how large or small, local communities are expected to provide an immediate disaster response to address and mitigate the potential psychological consequences following a disaster. In the event of a large scale incident, The Mental Health Response plan would be implemented by the County’s Emergency Management Office (EMO). In the event of a smaller incident or routine emergency where the EMO is not involved, the Mental Health Response would stand alone under the direction of the Director of Community Services to coordinate a response tailored to meet the identified needs of those requesting assistance.

A locally managed response will best support the needs for Oswego County residents. Individuals having knowledge of our local system of services and resources will reduce the amount of time it takes for a connection to aftercare supports. Responders will be in a position to directly contribute feedback and suggestions for local process improvement. Coordination among Mental Hygiene, Public Health, DSS, Emergency Management, and local Service Providers will allow for a comprehensive approach to addressing emergent needs.

Responders do not provide clinical services. The response typically involves supportive fieldwork. Sites that may require mental health support services may include: shelters; first aid stations; respite centers for first responders; family reception centers; family assistance centers; phone banks/hotlines; emergency operation center; points of dispensing centers; volunteer staging areas; local business or agencies; or participation in an outreach team. Core actions may include connecting and engagement; addressing safety and comfort needs; assessment of need for immediate crisis psychiatric services and/or follow-up care needs; information gathering of current needs and concerns; offering practical assistance; connecting with existing supports; providing information on coping; linking with collaborative services.

Questions about Oswego County Mental Hygiene?
Call 315-963-5361 or