Welcome to the Iowa Disaster Behavioral Health Response Team information site.

An Iowa Disaster Behavioral Health Response Team (DBHRT) is a trained team of volunteers who can mobilize resources to provide post-disaster mental health services statewide.

The goal of the Iowa DBHRT is to provide an organized response to individual victims, family members, volunteers, responders, survivors, or the community affected by critical incidents or disasters.

People in Boat

What is the role of an Iowa Disaster Behavioral Response Team member?

Iowa DBHRT members provide services that may be delivered at a disaster site, in an affected community or statewide. Immediate response services include: behavioral health needs assessment, psychological first aid, crisis intervention, community outreach, public information, and behavioral health consultation. Additional services provided by DBHRT members may include transition to recovery, and preparedness and mitigation.

Who can become a member of an Iowa Disaster Behavioral Response Team?

Iowa DBHRT members include volunteers from a wide range of backgrounds with experience in first response, human services, psychology, mental health, substance abuse, social work, education or spirituality. Volunteers are required to have mandatory Basic Training to serve on the Disaster Behavioral Health Response Team. For more information, see Iowa DBHRT Member Desired Qualities

For more information about Iowa DBHRT contact:


Karen Hyatt
Emergency Mental Health Specialist
Iowa Department of Human Services

Division of Mental Health and Disability Services
1305 East Walnut Street
Des Moines, IA 50319
515-281-3128 Direct Line
515-242-6036 FAX

Activating an Iowa DBHRT Team

The Iowa Disaster Behavioral Health Response Teams are activated by the Governor or a designee at Homeland Security and Emergency Management during a federal or state disaster situation.

Local authorities may request Iowa DBHRT assistance in order to meet the behavioral health needs of communities in crisis by contacting the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Duty Officer at any time.

The Duty Officer is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at

Ice Damage

Iowa Disaster Behavioral Health Response Team Training is offered to enhance the State of Iowa’s capability to respond to disaster events. If you are interested in becoming a team member, please read the following documents: