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disaster mental health, collection development, model, vulnerable populations, survivors, refugees, all hazards model


The connection between weather-related disasters and mental health is bound up in treatment, both acute and long-term, of suddenly vulnerable populations, whether they are in-place survivors, displaced persons, or refugees. The Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute (FMHI) Research Library/ University of South Florida Library System has undertaken a collection focus on disaster mental health. We have re-examined the traditional models of collection development and chosen instead to frame our collection development initiative around an ‘all hazards’ model, that allows us to proceed within both a national and international framework. Our model, conceptualized in a matrix of domains and facets, allows us to cast the widest possible net for salient research and practice and to provide selected in-depth development.

We developed the model in collaboration with a working group of three ‘disaster mental health’ research faculty from the USF College of Behavioral and Community Sciences. The scope of this collection includes titles pertaining to the nature, causes, prevention, mitigation of and response to different types of disaster threats, with a particular focus on psychosocial aspects. It includes the nature, causes, prevention, mitigation of and response to mental, emotional, health-related and behavioral conditions that arise from or accompany disaster events in their affected populations. It also includes research, measurement and analytic methods for studying them.