Disaster Behavioral Health Consortium

The Disaster Behavioral Health Consortium facilitates communication and increases coordination between disaster behavioral health response agencies during an event declared by a local, state or federal official as a disaster, emergency or incident. The consortium doesn’t function as a response team. Instead, it serves as a planning and information sharing body that supports the National Incident Management System through ongoing coordination of local, regional and state behavioral health resources.

The goals of the consortium include:

  • Facilitating communication between member organizations before, during and after a disaster declaration by a local, state or federal authority.
  • Provide technical assistance and recommendations to Disaster Behavioral Health Coordination staff regarding best practices in early psychological interventions.
  • Facilitate collaborative efforts for disaster behavioral health training, capacity building, and response and recovery projects.

Member Agencies and Organizations

American Red Cross

The mission of American Red Cross (ARC) Disaster Mental Health is to respond to the psychosocial needs of communities and people affected by disasters, including Red Cross disaster responders. These needs occur across the disaster cycle and can include preparedness, response and recovery.
ARC Disaster Mental Health values are consistent with the disciplines and fundamental principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

Attorney General of Texas Crime Victim Services

The Crime Victim Services Division mission is to assist in the compassionate and effective delivery of crime victim services by offering information, resources and financial assistance to crime victims and the organizations that assist them. The Crime Victims’ Compensation Fund can help eligible victims pay for medical and counseling services and can help families cover funeral costs for a loved one.

Bill Blackwood Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas

For 30 years, the Bill Blackwood Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas has been committed to providing exceptional education, professional development, research and other services to inspire excellence in leadership and management for law enforcement agencies.

Created by the Texas Legislature in 1989, the institute is among the largest and most sophisticated statewide preparation programs for police management in the U.S., and is nationally recognized for its initiatives to develop administrative, analytical and executive skills of current and future law enforcement officials. The institute’s programs include in-depth examinations of public administration and management issues; the political, legal and social environments of policing; and advanced technical issues facing the discipline today.

Department of State Health Services Center for Health Emergency Preparedness and Response

The Center for Health Emergency Preparedness and Response is dedicated to mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery from natural disasters, terrorist attacks and other public health emergencies in Texas. The center’s programs provide networking, coordinating, standardizing and centralizing resources and planning efforts across the state.

Texas Health and Human Services

Texas Health and Human Services administers a variety of emergency and disaster response and recovery programs within the Emergency and Risk Management (ERM) and Disaster Behavioral Health Coordination (DBHC) programs. Within ERM, the Continuity of Operations and Emergency Management operations staff deploy to the State Operations Center whenever it is activated.

  • DBHC facilitates local, state and federal behavioral health resources; provides information and technical assistance to federal, state and local emergency management officials and community stakeholders; and prepares and submits Crisis Counseling Assistance and Training Program grant applications on behalf of the state and hosting providers.
  • ERM administers the Emergency Services Program; Risk Management and Safety, Disaster Case Management Program; Other Needs Assistance Program; Emergency Water and Ice Program; and the Repatriation Program.

National Association of Social Workers-Texas Chapter

The National Association of Social Workers-Texas is the state chapter of the largest professional association of social workers in the U.S. The association advocates for social workers, advances the profession of social work and promotes sound public policy. Nearly two-thirds of all mental health services are provided by social workers, and the National Association of Social Workers-Texas has many members who wish to be engaged in assisting the state during an emergency, incident or disaster.

Office of the Governor Criminal Justice Division

The Office of the Governor Criminal Justice Division promotes strategies that improve and support criminal justice efforts across Texas by directing state and federal grant funding to first responders and service providers. Resources are dedicated toward programs that protect people from crime, reduce crime, respond to the needs of crime victims, and promote accountability, efficiency and effectiveness within the criminal justice system. Through the Victims of Crime Act, the assistance administrator is responsible for obtaining federal grant funding to support long-term mental health support for victims of a mass violence event.

Texas Division of Emergency Management

The Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) coordinates the state emergency management program, which ensures state and local governments respond to and recover from emergencies and disasters, and implements plans and programs to help prevent or lessen the impact of emergencies and disasters.

TDEM implements programs to increase public awareness about threats and hazards, coordinates emergency planning, provides an extensive array of specialized training for emergency responders and local officials, and administers disaster preparedness, response, recovery and hazard mitigation programs in Texas.

Texas Department of Public Safety and Victim and Employee Support Services

During emergencies, incidents or disasters involving criminal events, Victim and Employee Support Services counselors will assume primary responsibility for responding to the initial and follow-up needs of crime victims, witnesses (secondary victims) and their family members. Immediate services might include crisis counseling, basic support services, death notifications, criminal justice support and a liaison function. Secondary responsibilities include coordination with Critical Incident Response Services peer members and chaplains to provide support services to Department of Public Safety (DPS) first responders.

The Victim and Employee Support Services is responsible for the following:

  • The Victim Services Program ensures victims of violent crime are afforded the rights granted by the Code of Criminal Procedure and receive trauma-informed comprehensive services. Its counselors provide primary and secondary victims of criminal events with follow-up victim assistance services, including applying for crime victim compensation and therapy as appropriate.
  • The Employee Assistance Program provides support, education, referral and brief counseling services to employees and their dependent family members.
  • The Critical Incident Response Services Program provides crisis response to employees and their families and officers from other law enforcement agencies following exposure to critical incidents and traumatic events. The DPS Critical Incident Response Services is part of the HHSC Disaster Behavioral Health Coordination
  • Texas Critical Incident Stress Management Network.
  • The DPS Volunteer Chaplain Program provides crisis intervention and spiritual counseling services when requested by employees and their families.
  • The Department Veteran Assistance Program provides peer support and other resources to all DPS military veteran employees, including current U.S. National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve employees.

Texas Education Agency

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) oversees primary and secondary public education in the state and helps deliver education to more than 5 million students. TEA’s mission is to “improve outcomes for all public-school students in the state by providing leadership, guidance and support to school systems.” TEA and the State Board of Education guide and monitor activities and programs related to public education in Texas. There are over 1,200 local education agencies operating more than 8,000 public schools, including charters schools. Texas schools provide free public education to students enrolled in grades pre-K through 12. Additionally, Texas has regional education service centers separate from TEA that provide support for schools. There are 20 independent education service centers that receive funding from state, federal, and local sources to provide support services and technical assistance to school districts.

Texas Psychological Association

Founded in 1947, the Texas Psychological Association (TPA) represents and enhances the profession of psychology in Texas while promoting human health and welfare through education, science and practice. TPA’s purpose is to:

  • Advance psychology as a science, profession and as a means of promoting human welfare by encouraging psychology in all its branches in the broadest and most liberal manner.
  • Promote research in psychology and improve research methods and conditions.
  • Improve the qualifications and usefulness of psychologists through high standards of professional ethics, conduct, education, training and achievement. 
  • Increase the diffusion of psychological knowledge through meetings, professional contacts, reports, papers, discussions and publications, thereby advancing scientific interest and inquiry. 
  • Foster the application of psychology for public welfare.

Texas School Safety Center

The Texas School Safety Center is a clearinghouse for research, training and technical assistance pertaining to safe and healthy schools and communities. The center serves all public schools and junior colleges in Texas with matters pertaining to school safety and security. Its activities include assisting schools in planning, training and drilling for school and community disasters across all phases of emergency management. The center routes requests from educational institutions for disaster behavioral health services to the appropriate agency. The center plays a key role in the consortium in ensuring that, as the Texas Disaster Behavioral Health model is developed, people who provide those services to youth have the specialized training required to do so.

Texas Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster

Texas Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster is an association of independent, voluntary organizations that can be active in humanitarian and disaster relief. As an affiliate of the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, the association fosters efficient, streamlined service delivery to people affected by disasters while eliminating duplicative efforts through cooperation, communication, coordination and collaboration. Through this work, the association assists families impacted by disaster behavioral health issues.