Psychiatrists provide valuable medical experience and expertise for preparing and responding to disasters and mass traumas. It is important to understand how psychiatric care can be integrated into disaster response systems in order to effectively provide medical assessment, treatment and consultation. For information for patients and families, please visit Coping After Disaster.
Education and Training
Proper education and training is critical for responding to disasters and is crucial to ensuring successful interventions. Psychiatrists should become familiar with their local and regional disaster preparedness and response systems and coordinate with agencies and organizations appropriately.
American Red Cross Disaster Mental Health Teams: Psychiatrists licensed to practice in any U.S. state or territory may be eligible to participate as a Disaster Mental Health worker.
Vibrant Emotional Health: Organizes and trains volunteer psychiatrists to provide mental health services in the aftermath of disaster.
Community Emergency Response Teams: The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) organizes a program for educating and training community volunteers to support emergency responses.
International Humanitarian Opportunities: Psychiatrists seeking opportunities to participate in humanitarian efforts abroad can review available information and resources.
Care of Children Exposed to the Traumatic Effects of Disaster: Describes how to provide support and intervention to children in distress and how to mobilize family and social support.
Disaster Psychiatry: Readiness, Evaluation, and Treatment: Provides practical approaches to readiness, response, and intervention with a focus on evidence-based recommendations for psychiatric evaluations and interventions.
FOCUS: Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Collection of practical and evidence-based materials to help psychiatrists develop and maintain a foundation of medical knowledge and clinical expertise in PTSD.
Principles and Techniques of Trauma-Centered Psychotherapy: Integrates cognitive-behavioral, psychodynamic, and humanistic methods of trauma treatment into a psychotherapeutic context stressing technique, rather than theory.
Mental Health: A Guide for Faith Leaders: This Guide helps show faith leaders how they can support individuals with a mental illness, and where to direct them for treatment.