Emergency Preparedness & Response
Minnesota Behavioral Health Medical Reserve Corp
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What is the Behavioral Health Medical Reserve Corp (BH MRC)?
The Behavioral Health MRC is a statewide group of volunteer behavioral health specialists, whose mission is to support the global resilience of individuals, communities, and the Incident Command System during disasters by providing expert skills in the area of behavioral health. Disasters in which the MN Behavioral Health MRC may be deployed include, but are not limited to, natural disasters, man-made accidents, bioterrorism, pandemics, school emergencies, and public health emergencies.
BH MRC Volunteers
Behavioral Health MRC volunteers may currently work in, or be retired from mental/behavioral health, medical, or a community support service professions. BH MRC volunteers may be licensed or unlicensed mental health professionals, social workers, mental health counselors, school counselors, mental health case managers, substance abuse professionals, chaplains, psychiatric nurses, geriatric specialists, or they may come from a closely related community support service area.
Behavioral Health MRC volunteers have expertise in mental/behavioral health crisis response, are knowledgeable about local and regional mental/behavioral health and disaster resources, and have the communication skills to coordinate with local mental/behavioral health agencies, other disaster responders, and community support services during community response and recovery.
Types of Services
- Disaster Mental/Behavioral Health Education and Training to disaster responders and to community support services.
- Disaster Behavioral Health Risk Communication to assist development of disaster behavioral health messaging, including providing support to disaster and public health emergency hotlines.
- Disaster Intervention and Referral services such as psychoeducation, mental/behavioral health triage, Psychological First Aid (PFA), Skills for Psychological Recovery, and emotional support services (Force Health Protection) and consultation for incident command and disaster response staff.
Where are Services Provided?
- Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC) to provide emotional support services and assist in connecting with support services.
- Behavioral Health Outreach (BHO) support services provided door-to-door in disaster impacted neighborhoods to assist survivors without access to disaster services and/or survivors who may not be actively seeking formal services.
- Assistance Center (AC) for waiting family members and/or survivors of the disaster. Services include: Information Briefings, Psychological First Aid (PFA), Family Reunification, Death Notification support, and linkage to community resources.
- Incident Command Centers and deployment sites to support the emotional health of disaster responders.
- Community Locations such as churches, schools or other locations where they can best meet the needs of disaster impacted communities.
How to Access the BH MRC
Emergency management can request the assistance of the MN BH MRC by submitting a resource request through the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC), or if the SEOC is not open they can submit a request to MDH through the State Duty Officer.