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Disaster Behavioral Health: A Critical Response


The course provides essential preparation for mental health and other helping professionals employed in a variety of settings during the aftermath of disasters and emergencies.


  • Psychologists, psychiatrists, and other licensed mental health professionals
  • Emergency medical personnel and first responders
  • Public health professionals
  • Individuals who may aid and/or be called upon in times of disasters and emergencies


After successfully completing this program, participants will understand:
  • Key phrases of disaster preparedness, response, and recovery and the roles assumed by mental health professionals along this continuum.
  • Psychological, psychosocial, and psychospiritual reactions that individuals experience in the aftermath of a disaster or other public health emergencies.
  • Key interventions and activities in respondingto the psychological, psychosocial, and psychospiritual reactions of disaster survivors and responders.
  • Key mechanisms of self-care and transitioning from a disaster response or relief operation.


The two-day workshop will be presented in eight (8) modules:
  • Module 1 – Facing Disaster: Are You Prepared?
  • Module 2 – Disaster Planning, Preparedness, and Response in Healthcare Settings
  • Module 3 – Characteristics and Attributes of Natural and Human-caused Disasters
  • Module 4 – Reactions to Disaster: The Human Response
  • Module 5 – Acts of Terrorism, Weapons of Mass Destruction, and Public Health Emergencies: Special Issues and Considerations
  • Module 6 – The Disaster Mental Health and Spiritual Care Team Response
  • Module 7 – Early Intervention and Other Disaster Mental Health and Spiritual Care Activities
  • Module 8 – Self-care and Disengaging from a Disaster Assignment
*Participants must attend both days of this two-day workshop to receive the Certificate of Completion.