Mass Violence Conference

Friday, April 27, 2018
State University of New York at New Paltz
New Paltz, NY
Lecture Center

 Register Here! 

Presentations & Panels


Psychosocial Responses to Mass Violence
Patricia Watson, Ph.D. Senior Educational Specialist, National Center for PTSD.

A wealth of research and experience in the last two decades has led to the development of evidence-based and evidence-informed consensus guidelines and strategies to support the implementation of public mental health programs after terrorism and disaster. Human caused mass violence is associated with the highest rates of mental health problems and longer lasting mental health effects than natural disasters or accidents.  This keynote presentation will focus on improving attendees’ knowledge about the consequences of mass violence for both individuals and the community, and the unique risk and protective factors that have been studied in different types of human-caused mass violence events.  It will also identify early, mid-term, and late short-term interventions that have been developed for children and adults after mass violence, as well as the steps needed to increase a community’s capacity to offer evidence-based public and mental health interventions after mass violence.


Disaster Mental Health Case Studies: Lessons Learned From Responses to Mass Violence

Disaster Mental Health Responders discussing their experiences responding to recent mass violence events, including the Las Vegas Mass Shooting (2017), Sutherland Springs Texas Church Shooting (2017) and the NYC Truck attack (2017) as well as the historical Oklahoma City bombings (1995).  


Stress First Aid
Patricia Watson, Ph.D, Senior Educational Specialist, National Center for PTSD.

The Stress First Aid (SFA) model is a self-care and peer support model developed for those in high-risk occupations like military, fire and rescue, and law enforcement.  It includes seven actions that will help one identify and address early signs of stress reactions in oneself and others in an ongoing way (not just after “critical incidents”). While stress reactions may be relatively common in stressful jobs, SFA is meant to be used by anyone who is in an ongoing stressful situation, particularly when functioning is impaired or there is significant distress involved.  It identifies principles, actions, and goals for self-care and peer support in first responder settings, which have ongoing and cumulative stresses. In the SFA framework, a key assumption is that for many individuals, the most enduring resources for resisting transient stress reactions and recovering from more severe stress injuries are relationships with leaders and peers, and the satisfaction and self- esteem gained from job roles.  This workshop will provide training in the SFA model, including an introduction to the framework of the SFA model, and how to use the model for self-care and peer support.

Integrative Therapeutic Approaches to Engaging Children following Mass Violence
Craig Haen, Ph.D., RDT, CGP, LCAT, FAGPA

With the rising influence of neuroscience and increasing applications of multidisciplinary knowledge to clinical work, the treatment of trauma has been experiencing a sea change in the nearly two decades since the events of 9/11.  In this talk, these emerging paradigms will be explored as they inform an integrative, holistic approach to engaging young people in immediate and long-term recovery from exposure to mass violence, both in individual and group approaches.  Topics will include identifying points for intervention, providing developmentally responsive forms for trauma processing, promoting self-regulation, and fostering complex narratives.

Death Notifications: Essential Elements and Strategies for Self-Care
Wayne Daily, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist, Disaster Mental Health Chief, American Red Cross

Delivering a sensitive death notification is something that requires more than just a thorough understanding of the process. Because these experiences can be transformative for everyone involved it is important for those who deliver the sad news and for anyone in a support capacity to recognize the benefits and potential risks of this work.The workshop will provide essential information about how to conduct a sensitive death notification, what to expect, what to avoid, and suggestions for how best to assist those present. It will also invite workshop participants to explore in small group sessions how they can prepare themselves for this truly humbling experience and plan for self-care to reduce the likelihood of lasting adverse consequences.

Integrated Care Team Approach (ICT): Using a Multidisciplinary Team Response to Support Survivors of Disasters
Desiree Diaz, LCSW-R, Disaster Mental Health Lead, American Red Cross, Greater New York Region

Any type of disaster poses unique challenges as survivors often deal with both physical and/or psychological trauma. Multidisciplinary teams use the Integrated Care Team Approach (ICT) to support these individuals. Learn how organizations such as The American Red Cross, use trained teams when providing mental health, spiritual care, physical health and financial support to disaster survivors.


Registration Fees  

Thanks to generous sponsorship, there are no fees for this conference. 

The conference registration fee for Emergency Management Professionals, First Responders, Mental Health/Psychological Professionals, Social Workers/Social Services Providers, Health Professionals, Spiritual Care Providers, Members of Media, Disaster Volunteers and academic staff and students of certain disciplines is provided by the NYS Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services.

The conference registration for other academics, community members and members who do not fit into the above categories will be provided by Campus Auxiliary Services and IDMH.


Continuing Education Credits

Social Work and LMHC Continuing Education hours are currently under review through a partnership with University at Albany School of Social Welfare. University at Albany, School of Social Welfare & School of Education, Continuing Education Program is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed mental health counselors and social workers.