Institute for Disaster Mental Health provides training modules for United Nations
The Institute for Disaster Mental Health staff met recently with United Nations Emergency Preparedness and Support Team (EPST) at the United Nations to deliver the completed training modules developed by the Institute.
In the summer of 2010 the Institute for Disaster Mental Health (IDMH) was contacted by the United Nations. to develop a set of trainings designed to prepare teams of U.N. staff members to respond effectively to disasters, kidnappings, and mass casualty events at U.N. headquarters or field offices worldwide. The need for Disaster Mental Health preparation was evident after numerous U.N. staff members were killed or injured in the 2003 bombing of the U.N. Mission in Baghdad and after the Haitian earthquake in January 2010. To meet this growing need, a new unit in the U.N. was formed: the Emergency Preparedness and Support Team.
With funds from the General Assembly, the U.N. contracted with the Institute at New Paltz to develop a week-long course comprised of six specialized psychosocial modules for peer counselors.
For all six modules Professor James Halpern (Psychology), IDMH director served as Project Director; Assistant Professor Karla Vermeulen, (Psychology), IDMH Deputy Director, served as project coordinator, and Mary Kastner, director of Design, Print & Mail Services, designed slides and manuals and oversaw production of materials.
The training modules and authors include the following:
“Core Helping Practices inComplex Emergencies” by Professor James Halpern (Psychology), Institute for Disaster Mental Healthdirector and Assistant Professor Karla Vermeulen, (Psychology), IDMH Deputy Director
“Assisting Caregivers and Children” by Athena A. Drewes, clinician and director of clinical training and APA doctoral internship, Astor Services for Children and Families; Assistant Professor Kathleen (KatySue) Tillman (Psychology); and Assistant Professor Jonathan Rust (Psychology)
“Assisting Members of Vulnerable Populations” by Assistant Professor Karla Vermeulen (Psychology) and Monica J. Indart, department of clinical psychology, Rutgers University
“Managing the Dynamics of Captivity: Supporting the Loved Ones of Kidnap Victims” by Mary Tramontin, psychologist, United States Department of Defense
“Reception Centres, Shelters, and Family Assistance Centre Operations: The Basics of Holding Environments in Times of Emergencies” by Diane Ryan, director of Disaster Mental Health and Service Programs, American Red Cross in Greater New York; and Mary Tramontin, psychologist, United States Department of Defense
“Maintaining Helper Wellness & Competence” by Meredith Johnson, coordinator, Institute for Disaster Mental Health; Monica J. Indart, department of clinical psychology, Rutgers University; and Professor James Halpern (Psychology), Institute for Disaster Mental Healthdirector