"The development of this publication reflects a new and important partnership between the Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) and The National Council on the Aging (NCOA), in bringing an important resource to communities to improve crisis counseling services to older adults following disaster. Since its founding in 1950, NCOA has sounded two fundamental themes: first, we must recognize that new needs take shape as older populations continue their dramatic rise in numbers and years; second, we must recognize that the longevity revolution makes it essential that we tap the vitality and strengths of our older generations for the good of aging individuals and for our entire society. Response to disaster raises similar themes. We must acknowledge that certain vulnerabilities exist among many elders and that these vulnerabilities are likely to intensify at times of disaster and during the often lengthy recovery process. Since 1974, CMHS, and its predecessor agency, the National Institute of Mental Health, has administered the Crisis Counseling Assistance and Training Program, in coordination with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which provides supplemental funding to States for short-term crisis counseling services to victims of Presidentially declared disasters. The types of crisis counseling services provided under the program include outreach, education, community networking and consultation, public information and referral, and individual and group counseling. Tailoring these services, with specialized disaster mental health interventions and strategies, to meet the needs of special populations such as the older population is the primary focus of the Crisis Counseling Program."
United States Department of Health and Human Services, National Mental Health Information Center: http://mentalhealth.samhsa.gov/