Disaster Behavioral Health Consortium

The purpose of the Disaster Behavioral Health Consortium is to facilitate communication and increase coordination between disaster behavioral health response agencies during and after local, state or federal declared emergencies, incidents or disasters. The consortium does not function as a response team, rather each member organization acts independently and performs their respective functions during a disaster. It serves as a planning and information sharing body which 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 in the aftermath of local, state or federal declared disasters, incidents or emergencies.
  • Provide technical assistance and recommendations to Disaster Behavioral Health Services staff regarding best practices in early psychological interventions.
  • Facilitate collaborative efforts for disaster behavioral health training, capacity building, response and recovery projects.

Member Agencies/Organizations

American Red Cross


The mission of American Red Cross Disaster Mental Health is to respond to the psychosocial needs of communities and people affected by disaster, including Red Cross disaster responders, across the disaster cycle, which includes preparedness, response and recovery.

Disaster Mental Health values are consistent with those espoused by 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 bills incurred because of the crime and can help families cover the cost of the funeral for a loved one who has been killed.

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 services to the law enforcement community to inspire excellence in leadership and management for 21st century law enforcement agencies.

Created by the Texas Legislature in 1989, the Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas is one of the largest and most sophisticated statewide preparation programs for police management in the United States and is nationally recognized for its initiatives to develop administrative, analytical and executive skills of current and future law enforcement officials. The Bill Blackwood Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas’ programs include in-depth examinations of public administration, management issues, and the political, legal and social environments of policing, as well as advanced technical issues facing the discipline today.

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


The purpose of the Center for Health Emergency Preparedness and Response is to provide public health leadership and improve health and well-being in Texas. This is accomplished by promoting health, preventing disease and injury, protecting and effectively responding to all types of health emergencies, including bioterrorism, infectious disease outbreaks and natural disasters. The Center for Health Emergency Preparedness and Response does this through networking, coordinating, standardizing and centralizing our 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 and Disaster Behavioral Health Services programs. Within Emergency and Risk Management, the Continuity of Operations and Emergency Management operations staff deploy to the State Operations Center whenever it is activated.

  • Disaster Behavioral Health Services coordinates 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.
  • Emergency and Risk Management 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


National Association of Social Workers-Texas is the Texas chapter of the largest professional association of social workers in the United States. The association advocates for social workers, advances the profession of social work and promotes sound public policy that is designed to ensure human needs are met. Sixty percent of all mental health services are provided by social workers and National Association of Social Workers-Texas has many members who wish to be engaged in assisting the state in the event of an emergency, incident or disaster.

Office of the Governor


The Criminal Justice Division promotes strategies that improve and support criminal justice efforts across Texas by directing funding to first responders and service providers through the administration of grants from many state and federal sources. Resources are dedicated toward programs that protect people from crime, reduce the number of crimes committed, 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 coordinates the state emergency management program, which is intended to ensure the state and its local governments respond to and recover from emergencies and disasters and implement plans and programs to help prevent or lessen the impact of emergencies and disasters.

Texas Division of Emergency Management 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 service provision 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 first responders.

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

  • Victim Services 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 provides crisis response to employees and their families and officers from other law enforcement agencies following exposure to critical incidents and traumatic events. The Department of Public Safety Critical Incident Response Services is part of the HHSC Disaster Behavioral Health Services' Texas Critical Incident Stress Management Network.
  • The Department of Public Safety Volunteer Chaplain Program provides crisis intervention and spiritual counseling services upon request to employees and their families.
  • Department Veteran Assistance program provides peer support and other resources to all Department of Public Safety military veteran employees, including current Guard and Reserve employees.

Texas Education Agency


The Texas Education Agency is the state agency that oversees primary and secondary public education in the state of Texas. It helps deliver education to more than 5 million students. The mission of the Texas Education Agency is to “improve outcomes for all public-school students in the state by providing leadership, guidance, and support to school systems.” The Texas Education Agency 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 a free public education to students enrolled in grades Pre-K through 12. Additionally, Texas has a regional education support system for schools, separate from the Texas Education Agency, called Regional Education Service Centers. 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


The Texas Psychological Association is the professional organization for psychologists in the state. Founded in 1947, Texas Psychological Association's mission is to represent and enhance the profession of psychology in Texas, while promoting human health and welfare through education, science and practice. The group's purpose is to advance psychology as a science, profession and as a means of promoting human welfare by the encouragement of psychology in all its branches in the broadest and most liberal manner; by the promotion of research in psychology and the improvement of research methods and conditions; by the improvement of the qualifications and usefulness of psychologists through high standards of professional ethics, conduct, education, training and achievement; by the increase and diffusion of psychological knowledge through meetings, professional contacts, reports, papers, discussions and publications; thereby to advance scientific interest and inquiry, and to foster the application of psychology in the promotion of the 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 doesn't offer direct services in regard to disaster behavioral health, so when it receives a request for such services, it refers the appropriate agency to provide those services to educational institutions. 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 organization that can be active in humanitarian and disaster relief. It is an affiliate of the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster. Its mission is to foster efficient, streamlined service delivery to people affected by disaster, while eliminating unnecessary duplication of effort, through cooperation, communication, coordination and collaboration. Through this work, this association assists families impacted by disaster behavioral health issues.