During and after emergencies and disasters, psychological casualties can vastly outnumber physical injuries. The identification and treatment of emergent psychological conditions during and immediately after emergencies may raise unique legal issues. Other long-term legal challenges may arise during and after emergencies relative to the treatment of individuals’ chronic mental and behavioral health conditions.
The Johns Hopkins Preparedness and Emergency Response Research Center (JH~PERRC), sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, conducts research to strengthen public health preparedness systems and infrastructure, with a specific focus on mental and behavioral health.
One of the JH~PERRC’s core projects, “Legal and Ethical Assessment Concerning Mental and Behavioral Health Preparedness,” explores and analyzes the many unresolved legal and ethical issues, as well as potential solutions, related to the identification, accommodation, response and treatment of mental and behavioral health conditions before, during and after emergencies and disasters. This fact sheet summarizes and links to translational tools created by the project team.