Purpose Disaster Mental Health by lq3233



Disaster Mental Health is an integral               Contact your local
part of American Red Cross Disaster            American Red Cross chapter
Services. Disaster Mental Health                for additional information                     Disaster Mental Health

    •   Psychological triage, crisis
        intervention, emotional support,
    •   Collaboration with public health
        authorities and mental health
        providers to:
        − support special needs clients
        − coordinate service delivery and
            provide technical assistance
    •   Advocacy,
    •   Problem solving,
    •   Education,
    •   Referrals,
    •   Supervision and support to Red
        Cross workers providing
        psychological first aid,
    •   Monitoring and alleviating                Find a Local Red Cross Chapter
        organizational stress,
    •   Casualty support,                              Go to www.redcross.org                ”The Red Cross is the most amazing
    •   Training for other disaster relief                                                   organization I’ve ever known. They don’t
                                                Center top of home page under “Find the      just help people with their physical needs
                                                 Red Cross Nearest You” ”enter current       like food and clothing; they help with
    •   Instrumental support (i.e., taking            ZIP code” then click “FIND”            everything − mentally, emotionally,
        action in support of an individual).                                                 spiritually.”

                                                                                                    Bill “Woody” Wood, Tornado Victim
                                                                                 rev 02/08
 Why Disaster Mental Health?                                     Opportunities                                  Assignment Settings
Disaster Mental Health personnel                    You can…                                           Disaster Mental Health personnel will
provide services to individuals, families and                                                          work primarily in three settings depending upon
relief workers focused on basic care, support       Volunteer from home                                their expertise and level of experience.
and comfort to those experiencing disaster-            •    Gain experience by being on-call for       These settings include:
related stresses. An important role of mental               Disaster Action Teams with your local
health professionals is to connect individuals              chapter,                                       •   Red Cross Shelters −
and families with community resources in               •    Participate in Red Cross projects by               Where clients affected by a disaster take
addition to providing direct disaster-related               phone or email,                                    temporary shelter for their daily living
services.                                              •    Support someone at a Disaster Relief               needs.
                                                            Operation by phone.
Mental health services focus on helping adults                                                             •   Red Cross Service Centers −
and children cope with the emotional and            Help within your community                                 Where clients are interviewed with
environmental impact of a disaster while               •    Become a community disaster mental                 caseworkers for possible individual
recognizing the individual’s developmental                  health instructor,
stage.                                                 •    Advise a Disaster Action Team,
                                                       •    Be a member of the disaster community.
Mental health work in disaster settings is                                                                 •   Emergency Aid Stations −
unique, requiring personnel to adapt their                                                                     Where volunteers provide psychological
                                                    Deploy to a national disaster                              first aid, health education and referral
strategies and interventions to a fluid and
                                                       •    Receive experience as a supervisor,                information to clients.
dynamic environment. Contacts with
                                                       •    Administer psychological first aid,
individuals, families and other relief workers is
often spontaneous, interventions are brief and         •    Enjoy national networking opportunities,
contacts take place in a variety of settings           •    Travel to places where people urgently
within the affected community.                              need your help.                               Other possible assignments may
Disaster Mental Health personnel work                      You CAN make a difference!
alongside, support and assist Red Cross                                                                   •    Community outreach
employees and volunteers, as well as other
emergency responders in disasters ranging                                                                 •    Home visits
from single family fires to large natural or man-                                                         •    Hospital visits
made disasters affecting hundreds or
thousands.                                                                                                •    Disaster Action Team calls
                                                                                                          •    Staff Mental Health
                                                                                                          •    Condolence visits
                                                                                                          •    Call center

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