Original ArticleDisaster Mental Health Training in Florida and the Response to the 2004 HurricanesReid, W. Michael PhD; Ruzycki, Sandra MA; Haney, Michael L. PhD; Brown, Lisa M. PhD; Baggerly, Jennifer PhD; Mescia, Nadine MHS; Hyer, Kathryn PhDAuthor Information W. Michael Reid, PhD, is Director, Florida Center for Public Health Preparedness, College of Public Health, University of South Florida, Tampa. Sandra Ruzycki, MA, is Associate in Education and Training, Florida Center for Public Health Preparedness, College of Public Health, University of South Florida, Tampa. Michael L. Haney, PhD, is Division Director for Prevention and Interventions, Children's Medical Services, Florida Department of Health, Tallahassee. Lisa M. Brown, PhD, is Assistant Professor, Department of Aging and Mental Health, Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute, University of South Florida, Tampa. Jennifer Baggerly, PhD, is Assistant Professor, Counselor Education, University of South Florida, Tampa. Nadine Mescia, MHS, is Director, Division of Education and Training, Florida Center for Public Health Preparedness, College of Public Health, University of South Florida, Tampa. Kathryn Hyer, PhD, is Associate Professor, School of Aging Studies, College of Arts and Sciences, Florida Policy Exchange Center on Aging, University of South Florida, Tampa. Corresponding author: W. Michael Reid, PhD, Florida Center for Public Health Preparedness, College of Public Health, MDC 56, University of South Florida, 13201 Bruce B. Downs Blvd, Tampa, FL 33612 (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org). Funding for the training and the survey reported in this article was provided through Cooperative Agreement Number U90/CCU424263–01 between the Association of Schools of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice: November 2005 - Volume 11 - Issue 6 - p S57-S62 Buy AbstractIn Brief The need for mental health interventions in disasters has long been recognized. The Florida Center for Public Health Preparedness (FCPHP) has been providing disaster mental health training to employees of the Florida Department of Health and others since 2001. One of the training programs was Bioterrorism Trauma Intervention Specialist Training (BTIST), offered between May 2003 and January 2004. The FCPHP has also developed three distance learning courses, including one that provides advice to responders who are experiencing compassion fatigue. The BTIST curriculum prepares participants to provide mental health interventions during and following disasters. The four hurricanes that struck Florida in a 7-week period in 2004 created a great demand for mental health services. The FCPHP supported the Florida Department of Health response effort by providing a roster of BTIST trainees and hundreds of copies of the compassion fatigue audio CD. The FCPHP conducted a Web-based survey of the BTIST participants after the hurricanes. A large majority of respondents reported that the training had given them greater knowledge of disaster mental health, provided many disaster mental health skills, and the skills had been valuable in their professional and personal lives. Most of those who had actively responded to the hurricanes indicated that the training had given them confidence for their response and that they had used the acquired skills in their response efforts. This article describes FCPHP's creation of Bioterrorism Trauma Intervention Specialist Training. © 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.