Mass Violence Conference

IDMH's 15th Annual Conference Media

9:00- 9:30 a.m.:
Welcome and Opening Remarks

9:30- 10:45 a.m.:
Psychosocial Responses to Mass Violence
Patricia Watson, Ph.D., Senior Educational Specialist for the 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.

Keynote Slides Available Here: Psychosocial Responses to Mass Violence Slides

11:00- 12:15 p.m.:
Survivor Voices on Healing and Recovery following a Mass Murder Tragedy
Dr. Erika Felix, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology University of California, Santa Barbara

Survivor perspectives on recovery post-tragedy can help communities better prepare and respond to crisis events. On May 23, 2014, a young man murdered six students from the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) and wounded over a dozen others, across multiple crime scenes, before killing himself. This tragedy occurred shortly before final exams and graduation, which compounded student distress. This study provides empirical data and student’s own words on their adjustment following the mass murder tragedy. This presentation will focus on what changed or did not change from their pre-tragedy adjustment levels, their view on what helped most in the immediate aftermath, and how different aspects of social support affected their well-being. Following mass murder tragedies, there is often intense media coverage, and the influence of this on student adjustment is also explored. Considerations and recommendations for post-tragedy mental health supports are provided.

Keynote Slides Available Here: Survivor Voices on Healing and Recovery Slides

1:00- 2:30 p.m.:
Stress First Aid Workshop
Patricia Watson, Ph.D., Senior Educational Specialist for the 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 selfcare and peer support.

Workshop Slides Available Here: Stress First Aid Slides

Death Notifications: Essential Elements and Strategies for Self-Care
Wayne F. Dailey, PhD, 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.

Workshop Slides Available Here: Death Notification Workshop Slides

2:45- 4:00 p.m.:
Disaster Mental Health Case Studies: Lessons Learned from Responses to Mass Violence
Facilitator: James Halpern, Ph.D. Founding Director, Institute for Disaster Mental Health Wayne F. Dailey, Ph.D.,Clinical Psychologist, Disaster Mental Health Chief, American Red Cross Christie Rodgers, Senior Associate for Disaster Mental Health at the American Red Cross National Headquarters John R. Tassey, Ph.D.,Clinical Psychologist, Medical Psychology Program Manager and Director of the Health Psychology Clinic at the Oklahoma City Veterans Affairs Medical Center Meagan van Harte, Senior Director, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

Experienced DMH leaders describe how their interventions were tailored to meet the needs of clients impacted by different incidents of mass violence. Panelists describe the challenges they faced, the impact of the event on clients, the community and themselves at: The Oklahoma City bombing (1995), the Sandy Hook School shooting (2012), the Las Vegas shooting (2017) and the NYC truck attack (2017). Master clinicians offer insight and guidance to better prepare DMH providers for future similar incidents.

Panel Slides Available Here: Disaster Mental Health Case Studies Slides