Disaster Mental Health Assistance in Public Health Emergencies: Evidence-Informed Practices for Public Health Workers

**Please download the Disaster Mental Health Assistance Toolkit before the broadcast.**

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James Halpern, PhD
Institute of Disaster Mental Health 

Karla Vermeulen, PhD
Deputy Director
Institute of Disaster Mental Health 

Research on Disaster Mental Health has found that psychological casualties can far outweigh physical injuries in a disaster. Public Health personnel need to understand the expected mental health impact of a disaster on victims, residents, staff and their families to effectively implement response and recovery activities. The purpose of this training is to strengthen local health departments’ capacity to respond to the mental health needs of individuals and staff impacted by disasters and public health emergencies. The webcast will provide an overview of disaster mental health and an evidence-based toolkit of resources to help local public health professionals manage the behavioral needs of victims, staff and area residents responding to and recovering from a disaster.

Learning Objectives
  1. Define and summarize extreme versus typical mental health reactions in a disaster; 
  2. Describe how reactions and needs may differ in vulnerable populations; 
  3. Identify early intervention techniques and leadership strategies to foster resiliency; 
  4. Identify components of self-care (risk factors, stressors, coping mechanisms, and stress reduction strategies).
Public Health Preparedness Core Competencies

Domain I:
1.2 Leadership: Manage Behaviors

Domain IV:
4.2 Protect Worker Health & Safety

Public Health Emergency Preparedness Capabilities

PHEP Capability 2: Community Recovery

PHEP Capability 14: Responder Safety & Health