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Institute for Disaster Mental Health
  • The Institute for Disaster Mental Health offers education and training to students and professionals at conferences and workshops that reflect recent research and best practices.
  • The Institute comprises scholars and practitioners dedicated to teaching, research, and service to the community in the area of disaster mental health. It is guided by an advisory board of experienced and committed professionals and community leaders active in fields directly related to Institute’s work.
  • Institute director Dr. James Halpern is one of the nation’s foremost experts on disaster mental health. Halpern is frequently dispatched by the American Red Cross to counsel victims in disaster-affected areas such as New York City after 9/11, New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and Sandy Hook Elementary School after the shootings there. He is frequently tapped by national news sources as an expert voice in the field of disaster mental health.
  • The Institute works to create and disseminate psychoeducational materials to help individuals cope with traumatic experiences, including United States Agency for International Development-sponsored materials crafted for residents of Gaza, Israel, and the West Bank.
  • Through academic programs at SUNY New Paltz, IDMH staff members are engaged in educating the next generation of helpers. Undergraduate students in the interdisciplinary minor in disaster studies spend a semester interning with disaster response agencies and have made significant contributions to preparedness and relief efforts in the region. An advanced certificate in trauma and disaster mental health provides specialized post-graduate training for master-level mental health professionals who want to build clinical skills in treating trauma.