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National Disaster Mental Health and Wellbeing Framework 2021

5.5 Mapping mental health and wellbeing services

Service mapping, conducted in advance of a disaster, can be a valuable way to improve coordination and service provision. Its benefits include:

  • • an understanding of capacities and gaps,
  • • lead roles for different functions being established,
  • • improved referrals and a ‘no wrong door’ approach,
  • • clarity around who to include in forums, inter-agency networks, and training,
  • • greater trust between services, and
  • • any new funds being used more efficiently.

Mapping help-seeking journeys post-disaster can also provide vital insights to the specific needs of groups in the population, as it can uncover transport, telecommunication, financial, social, and cultural issues that may affect access.

The perspective of the service user needs to be at the centre of the service mapping exercise, starting with profiles of those relevant to the local government area.20 When new formal and informal services enter the community following a disaster, or service disruption occurs, changes can be integrated into the existing service map in a timely manner.