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Name: James Halpern
Title: Professor of Psychology
Academic Rank: Professor
Department: Psychology

Expertise Keywords: communities, Disaster psychology, grief, human caused disasters on individuals, impact of natural, impact of terrorism, loss., trauma studies, Weapons of Mass Destruction

Available For: interviews, speaking

Expertise: Dr. James Halpern is Professor of Psychology and Counseling and Director of the Institute for Disaster Mental Health at The State University of New York at New Paltz. He is the author of, Disaster Mental Health: Theory and Practice, published by Brooks/Cole (July, 2007) – a best-selling textbook in the field. He has given numerous scholarly and training presentations on trauma and disaster mental health throughout the US and abroad (England, Croatia, Norway, Austria, Greece, Israel). He has received highly competitive federal grants (United States Agency for International Development, Center for Disease Control, National Institute for Mental Health and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) and New York State grants (Department of Health, Office of Mental Health and State Office of Emergency Management) to develop curriculum and to provide training and education in Disaster Mental Health. He served on the Leadership Committee of the Disaster Mental Health Services of the Greater NY Chapter of the American Red Cross for five years and is now the Chair of the Ulster County chapter. He has consulted for the United Nations on Assisting Victims of Terror and has developed six training modules for the United Nations Emergency Preparedness and Support Teams as well as a specialized training module for how UN mission leaders can operate most effectively in complex emergencies. He currently serves as an advisory board member of the New York New Jersey Planning and Emergency Preparedness Learning Center, the World Association for Disaster Emergency Medicine and the New York State Veterans Mental Health Training Initiative. He has also provided direct service to disaster survivors and served in a leadership role at both large-scale national and local disasters.

Currrent Research: Disaster Mental Health Services volunteer for the American Red Cross. In addition to Mental Health Services, my training has included: Mass Care, Health Care. Family Services, Weapons of Mass Destruction/Terrorism. I have had significant experience providing mental health services at many types of disasters of different scope, intensity, magnitude and meaning. Disaster responses have been to aviation incidents, floods, fires, building collapses, cold and heat waves, and WMD/T attacks. As a member of the Leadership Committee of the DMHS function in Greater New York I share On Call Duty and as such can be the first mental health professional notified when a disaster requiring mental health intervention occurs in New York City. I have responded to large scale national disasters in different parts of the country. I have supervised the mental health response to city wide drills involving aviation incidents, hostage taking, and catastrophic attacks on New York City. I am also qualified instructor for Disaster Services for the American Red Cross and have taught a wide range of courses. I have also consulted and taught (pro bono) for the New York City Office of Emergency Management and presented to the Mayors Office on issues related to grief and mental health. On September 11th, 2001 I led the first organized team of mental health workers at Ground Zero in search of the "walking wounded."

Contact Information

Office Phone: 845-257-3479
E-mail Address: halpernj@newpaltz.edu
Communication & Marketing: 845-257-3245

Education

Colleges/
Universities
Attended
Dates
Attended
Degree
Conferred
Year
Conferred
Major
Subject
City University of New York 1983 -1967 BA 1967 Psychology
Graduate Faculty, New School For Social Research 1967- 1974 MA and PH D 1974 Psychology

Awards/Grants/Honors

RECENT AWARDS
Co-Project Director for New York State Department of Health, 2012-2013

Project director for United Nations Emergency Preparedness and Support Team, Manager's Tool Kit for Coping in Emergencies. IDMH prepared a manager's tool kit of 12 tipsheets to equip UN managers and personnel to develop resiliency as an individual (personal and professional), as a manager, and in his/her role in addressing psychosocial needs resulting from disasters and crises at the organizational level.

Project director for NY.NJ Preparedness and Emergency Response Learning Center at University of Albany, Disaster Mental Health Assistance in Public Health Emergencies:

Project Director for 9th Annual IDMH Conference & Training: Building Capacity: Mitigating and Managing Responder Stress. This training Event was held, April 20, 2012 and focused on building capacity and resilience through improving the mitigation and management of responder stress. The primary sponsor for this event was the New York State Office of Emergency Management, 2012

Project Director for NY.NJ Preparedness and Emergency Response Learning Center, Webcast and DVD production of 9th Annual conference. This event was webcast to 400- 800 attendees at both national and international sites.

USAID West Bank/Gaza managing and mitigating conflict fixed obligation grant: Families First: A Palestinian-Israeli People to People Approach to Assist Children and Caregivers as a Means of Conflict Mitigation and Reconciliation, This project brought together approximately 15 mental health, healthcare, and social service providers from the West Bank and Gaza; an equal number from Israel; and five trauma experts from the United States. This tri-national group collaborated to develop psychoeducational materials that will be used to educate parents about the common impact of trauma, and about how they can assist their children in coping with exposure to conflict in a manner that minimizes psychological harm. January, 2012 – December 2012

Project director for New York State Department of Health 2011-2012 Training Delivery and Ongoing Support.

Co-project director for: American Red Cross in Greater New York: Disaster Mental Health Response to Mass Casualty Incidents: Advanced DMH training.

Project Director for 8th Annual IDMH Conference & Training, Lessons from Adversity: Strengthening Preparedness with Reflections from 9/11, Sponsored by NY State Office for Emergency Management, 2011

Project Director for New York State Department of Health, Disaster Mental Health Training and Quarterly Newsletters, August 1, 2010 – June 30, 2011.

Co-project director for American Red Cross Greater New York Chapter: Mass Casualty Incidents Training Development and Delivery IDMH developed a half-day training curriculum for ARC mental health responders on responding to mass casualty incidents.

United Nations, Prepare Curriculum to Assist the United Nations Preparedness and Support Team to design materials to prepare duty stations around the world in dealing with a crisis or emergency situation affecting UN staff, September 1, 2010- Dec 31- 2010

New York State Department of Health, Disaster Mental Health Training and Quarterly Newsletters, August 1, 2010 – June 30, 2011.

American Red Cross, Ulster County Chapter, 10th Annual Founders’ Award on the occasion of the 100th Anniversary of the American Red Cross in Ulster County, Citations from the New York State Senate and Assembly were awarded by Congressman Maurice Hinchey

Other professional activities

Halpern, J (2003). Introduction and Conference Coordinator for Lessons From Disaster: A Conference and Conversation. Held at SUNY New Paltz, April 11,2003

Halpern, J. Weitzman, E. & Losinno, C. (2000, November). Conflicts between the elderly and their adult children. Presented at the 58th Annual Convention of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy at Denver.

Halpern, J., Hammond, A., & Keenan, J. (1996, August). Family differentiation and parental empathy as predictors of college adjustment. Paper presented at the 104th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association at Toronto, Canada. Halpern, J. (1994, May). Integrating couple therapy into psychotherapeutic practice. Keynote address delivered to the Human Services Institute of the Hudson Valley at Kingston, NY.

Halpern, J. & Kenrick, R. (1994, October). Concern of college students, their parents, intergenerational empathy and self- esteem. Paper presented at the 34th annual meeting of the New England Psychological Association.

Halpern, J. & Shroder, M.A. (1991, May). Perceptions of the needs of elderly parents by adult children. Presented at the ninety- ninth annual convention of the American Psychological Association at San Francisco.

Halpern, J. & Mintzer, E. (1979, March). Effects of sex of therapist and client on therapist's attitudes toward assertiveness problems. Paper presented at the New York State Psychological Association.

Presentation to the B'nai B'rith in Poughkeepsie, New York, Spring 1980, on the psychological causes of prejudice.

Two presentations to students in Deyo Dormitory, S.U.N.Y. New Paltz, The "Tuesdays at Deyo Program."

Presentations at the Graduate Colloquium Series at S.U.N.Y. New Paltz, Fall 1977, "An attempt at understanding misunderstanding."

Colloquium given at the New School for Social Research, Fall 1975, "Research and theories on projection."

Colloquium given at the Portland School of Art, Spring 1973, "Psychology and Art."

Publications

Presentations and publications on Disaster Mental Health
Vermeulen, K. and Halpern, J. (November 30, 2012). Responding to Mass Casualty Incidents, Webcast training developed and delivered to Office of Mental Health and Department of health.

NY.NJ Preparedness and Emergency Response Learning Center at University of Albany
Disaster Mental Health Assistance in Public Health Emergencies: Evidence-Informed Practices for Public Health Workers: Training delivered on September 27, 2012

Halpern, J. Jan 5-7, 2012 Three-day conference, including series of presentations and discussions for Families First project; Dead Sea, Israel

International Meetings and presentations J. Halpern :
• Jan 8, 2012:, USAID, Tel Aviv, Israel
• Jan 12, 2012:, WHO, West Bank, PA
• May 16, 2012 USAID, Jerusalem, training
• May 18, 2012, USAID, Jerusalem, training

January 11, 12, 13, 2012, Ben-Gurion University, Beer Sheva, Israel. Catastrophic Events: Emergency Planning and Interventions – International Perspective. This graduate course was co-taught by J. Halpern and professors from Rutgers and Ben-Gurion Universities

May 10-13, 2012: J. Halpern, K. Vermeulen, G. Benjamin, P. Finley, & A. Drewes. Families First: A Palestinian-Israeli People to People Approach to Assist Children and Caregivers as a Means of Conflict Mitigation and Reconciliation; Dead Sea, Israel

Halpern, J. (October 7-12, 2011), “Education in Primary Health Care and Disaster Management.” International Workshop, Greece and Egypt in association with the World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine and the Association of Schools of Public Health in the European Region, Athens Greece.

Halpern, J & Vermeulen K (2011) “Assisting Disaster Survivors: Are Practitioners Using Evidence-Informed Practices?” Presented at the European Conference on Traumatic Stress, Vienna, Austria, June 5, 2011.

Halpern, J. (January 6-8, 2011) Invited lecturer for US Agency for International Development Middle East Regional Cooperation, “Providing Disaster Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Complex Emergencies,” Lectures presented at the Dead Sea, Israel

Halpern, J. (February 9, 2011) Disaster Mental Health, presentation to New York State Emergency Management Association, 2011 Winter Conference, The Many Faces of Emergency Management, Syracuse NY.

Halpern, J & Vermeulen K (2010) “Assisting Disaster Survivors: Are Practitioners Using Evidence-Informed Practice?” for Division 56, Trauma Psychology. Presented at the American
Psychological Association meeting, San Diego, August 14, 2010.

Halpern, J. filmed presentation for an American Red Cross Greater NY educational video on the Disaster Mental Health aspect of disaster response, February, 2010. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fwB4rm2UBU

Halpern, J. (2010). guest speaker on Victim Assistance: Grief and Mental Counseling at West Point’s “Tranquility to Tragedy: Critical Strategies for Active Shooter Preparedness, Response, and Recovery.” March 11, 2010

Halpern, J. (2010). Developments in Disaster Mental Health, NYS SEMO: Region II’s “State Emergency Management Organization Meeting,” May 12, 2010:

January 4, 2010: Ben-Gurion University, Eilat Campus, Israel, Providing Psychosocial Assistance in a Public Health Emergency. Presentation by J. Halpern to business leaders and University audience

January 6 & 7, 2010: Ben-Gurion University, Beer Sheva, Israel. Catastrophic Events: Emergency Planning and Interventions – International Perspective. This graduate course was co-taught by J. Halpern and professors from Rutgers and Ben-Gurion Universities

Presentation to International conference: Crisis as an Opportunity: Organizational and Professional Responses to Disasters, The Psychological Aftermath of Terrorism, January 8th-9th, 2009, Ben-Gurion University, Beer-Sheva, Israel; moved to Jerusalem. Co-Sponsors: Ben-Gurion University and Rutgers University

“Treating Returning Veterans: Are Practitioners using Evidence Based Practice?” was delivered to the 11th European Conference on Traumatic Stress in Oslo Norway, June 14, 2009. This presentations was coauthored by Dr. Phyllis Freeman, David Anchin and Dr. Tabitha Holmes.

Disaster Mental Health Assistance in a Public Health Emergency: Evidence-Informed Interventions. This one-hour presentation on the mental health aspects of the H1N1 pandemic was broadcast to hundreds of Emergency Management leaders throughout the country. The transcript and powerpoint of the talk is available online from National Red Cross.
November 19, 2009: American Red Cross national H1N1 conference call

Halpern, J. (2008). Disaster Mental Health: Invited keynote address to the Mental Health of America of Dutchess County, 54th Annual Meeting, Poughkeepsie, New York, May 9, 2008.

Halpern, J. (2008). Introduction to Conference: Healing the Scars of War. Conference held at SUNY New Paltz, April 11, 2008.

Halpern, J. (2008). Disaster Mental Health and Emergency Management: Invited keynote address to the New York State Office of Emergency Management, United States Military Academy at West Point, April 3, 2008.

Halpern, J. (2007). Developments in Disaster Mental Health: Invited presentation to New York State Emergency Management Office, Region II, Quarterly Director’s Meeting, Poughkeepsie, New York. November 28, 2007.

Halpern, J & Tramontin, M. (2007). The Psychological Aftermath of Terrorism: The 2001 New York City World Trade Center Attack. Presented at the European Conference on Traumatic Stress, Opatija, Croatia, June 9, 2007.

Halpern, J. (2007). Introduction to and Conference Coordinator for: Our Community Prepares. Conference held at SUNY New Paltz, April 26 & 27, 2007

Halpern, J (2006). Disasters: The importance of perception and communication. Keynote address delivered to Westchester Chapter of the American Red Cross, Fourth Annual Conference October 27, 2006

Halpern, J (2006). Best Practice Interventions Post Disaster. Workshop presented at Westchester Chapter of the American Red Cross, Fourth Annual Conference October 27, 2006

Halpern, J. (2006). “Psychological First Aid”: One Aspect of Disaster Preparedness Planning Across Disciplines. Presented at Five Years Beyond 9/11: Creating Vital Connections as We Approach the Future, New York City, NY, October 4, 2006.

Halpern J. (2006). Help for the Helper: Promoting Compassion Satisfaction and Preventing Compassion Fatigue, A Workshop for those in Disaster Response. Presentation to United Jewish Communities, New York City September 13, 2006.

Halpern, J (2005) Invited presentation to the Chief School Administrators of Southern Westchester, Mohonk Mountain House, New Paltz, NY, October 20.2005.

Halpern, J (2005). Introduction and Conference Coordinator for: Helping in a Time of Crisis. Conference held at SUNY New Paltz, May 6, 2005

Halpern, J. (2005). Disaster Mental Health: A presentation for health care providers in the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC). This training was provided as part of the course Essential Elements of Emergency Preparedness for Healthcare Responders. Cleveland, OH, May 26, 2005.

Halpern, J. (2005). Disaster Psychology. Invited presentation to Bioterrorism Medical Task Force, Ulster County Health Department. Benedictine Hospital, Kingston, NY

Halpern, J. (2005). Disaster Psychology and Bioterrorism. Invited presentation to Hudson Valley Regional (HVR) Bioterrorism Coordinators. Newburgh, NY.

Halpern, J. (2005). Disaster Mental Health: The Practice of Counseling in Chaos. Invited presentation to Program for Anxiety Disorders and Traumatic Stress Studies, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York City, NY.

Halpern, J (2004). Counseling in Chaos: an overview of disaster psychology. Invited presentation to the Psychotherapy Symposium at Washington, DC.

Halpern, J (2003). Introduction and Conference Coordinator for Lessons From Disaster: A Conference and Conversation. Held at SUNY New Paltz, April 11, 2003