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Addressing the Needs of the Seriously Mentally Ill in Disasters

In the acute stages of a natural disaster, those with serious mental illness may function relatively well. Like the rest of the population, they often rise to the occasion to assist
themselves and others in a time of great need. However, persons with severe and often chronic mental illness are a vulnerable group whose well-being is especially threatened by the social disruption of the post-disaster setting. In addition, the existing resources and damage to infrastructure may significantly impact treatment care options. Assisting persons with severe mental illness can mitigate or prevent adverse outcomes.