Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response (CASPER) : after the Flint water crisis: May 17−19, 2016, Flint Michigan. Final report: July 2016
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Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response (CASPER) : after the Flint water crisis: May 17−19, 2016, Flint Michigan. Final report: July 2016

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      On April 25, 2014, the City of Flint, Michigan changed their municipal water supply source from the Detroit-supplied Lake Huron water to the Flint River. The switch resulted in the corrosion of water distribution pipes and leaching of lead and other contaminants into municipal drinking water. On October 1, 2015, Genesee County Board of Commissioners and Genesee County Health Department declared a public health emergency and advised residents of Flint, Michigan not to drink the municipal water. On October 15, 2015, funding was authorized to switch the municipal water source back to Detroit-supplied Lake Huron water. On January 10, 2016, The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) activated the Community Health Emergency Coordinating Center (CHECC) to coordinates all state-level public health emergency response activities. On January 13, 2016, the CHECC behavioral health team requested federal resources and technical assistance from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Disaster Technical Assistance Center. The behavioral health team immediately formed a partnership with Genesee Health System (GHS), the local community mental health agency responsible for emergency behavioral health response, to help support behavioral health initiatives for community recovery.

      In addition to health effects from lead exposure, there were concerns about the behavioral health consequences of the Flint Water Crisis (FWC) for Flint residents, such as anxiety, depression, and substance abuse. The FCRG, Mental Health Workgroup, Data & Gap Analysis Sub-Workgroup, comprised of members from the MDHHS, Genesee County Health Department, GHS, and the University of Michigan–Flint, requested technical assistance from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to investigate behavioral health effects from the FWC. A formal request for assistance for a Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response (CASPER) in the City of Flint came from MDHHS on April 6, 2016.

      To aid in the recovery efforts, a CASPER was conducted May 17−19, 2016 within the City of Flint, Michigan. Specifically, the CASPER was conducted to assess the following: 1) household- and individual-level, self-reported behavioral health concerns; 2) household access to behavioral health services, including substance abuse and mental health services, and perceived barriers to access; 3) self-reported physical health concerns; 4) water-related resource needs and barriers to resources; and 5) communication with the affected community. CDC provided interview teams with a three-hour training prior to conducting interviews over three days in the field. A total of 182 household interviews were completed. A weighted cluster analysis was conducted to report the projected percent of households; for all results the percentages in the text represent weighted percentages


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