May 15, 2018
4 min watch

VIDEO: Planning for psychiatric medications during emergencies

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NEW YORK — Elspeth “Cam” Ritchie, MD, MPH, discussed the importance of planning for psychiatric medications during a natural disaster, catastrophe or power shortage, in a video perspective recorded at the American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting.

In times of natural disasters or power shortages, there are often disruptions in the supply of psychiatric medications, Ritchie said.

There is no stockpile of antipsychotics or antidepressants kept at the CDC, contrary to what many believe, so making sure a patient with mental illness has the medications they need is vital. Because natural disasters and emergencies are localized, it’s important to know whether your specific public mental health system has a stockpile and, if it does, where it is kept. Psychiatrists partnering with local pharmacists may be an option when there are power outages as well.

Disclosures: Ritchie reports no relevant financial disclosures.