Friday April 17, 2009
This conference will promote disaster preparedness and planning to support those health and mental health providers, emergency management personnel, spiritual care providers, first responders and community responders who will be providing assistance to survivors and their families during the early aftermath of disasters. A growing body of evidence indicates that delivering appropriate mental health interventions such as psychological first aid and psychoeducation in the immediate aftermath of disasters can help to prevent serious sequelae in those impacted. Additionally, effective screening methods can help responders direct limited longer-term mental health resources to those who need them most.
Morning keynote speakers will highlight recent evidence-based approaches to the assessment and treatment of disaster survivors and their families. Afternoon workshops will provide more in-depth information and training on these interventions as well as additional options such as self-care for helpers, spiritual care, and assisting first responders, bereaved children, people with substance abuse issues, and more. A lunchtime panel will discuss issues of cooperation and coordination among New York State agencies involved in disaster mental health response efforts.
» confbrochure09 *
8:30 - 9:00
Breakfast and registration
9:00 - 9:15
Welcome – Steven Poskanzer, President, SUNY New Paltz
Introductory Remarks – James Halpern, Ph.D., Director, IDMH
9:15 - 10:30
Keynote – Principles and Research on Early Intervention and the Screen and Treat Approach
Chris Brewin, Ph.D., Clinical, Educational & Health Psychology, University College, London
10:30 - 11:00
11:00 - 12:15
Expert Panel – Innovations in Early Intervention
12:15 - 1:45
Lunch break with optional working lunch:
Emergency Officials Discuss a Coordinated Response to Disaster
Moderator: Alan S. Chartock, Ph.D., President, WAMC Northeast Public Radio
Participants may either attend two standard 1¼-hour-long workshops, or one extended 3-hour-long workshop. Complete workshop descriptions and learning objectives below.
2:00 - 3:15
Standard Concurrent Professional Workshops, Session I
3:15 - 3:45
3:45 - 5:00
Standard Concurrent Professional Workshops, Session II
Standard Workshop Topics (repeated in each session period):
2:00 - 5:00
Extended Professional Workshops
I. American Red Cross Psychological First Aid
Michael S. Cronin, Ph.D., LCSW, Assistant Professor of Social Work, The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, and Disaster Mental Health Leader & Volunteer Partner for International Mental Health, American Red Cross in Greater New York
This course teaches participants to provide basic care, comfort, and support to people who are experiencing disaster-related stress by providing a framework for understanding factors that affect the stress responses of disaster relief workers and the clients they serve. In addition, it provides practical suggestions about what you can say and what you can do as you practice the principles of Psychological First Aid.
II. Developing a Screen and Treat Plan, for Disaster Mental Health Leaders
Chris R. Brewin, Ph.D., Clinical, Educational & Health Psychology, University College, London
Please note that this session is intended for leaders of governmental and non-governmental agencies who are likely to be directly involved in the mental health response to disasters, and who would like to learn how to organize and train an outreach team to implement the Screen and Treat approach. Registration in this session will be limited and will require the approval of the conference organizers.
5:00 - 6:00
Networking and tabling, including an information and recruitment area for those interested in being part of the American Red Cross Disaster Mental Health volunteer team.
James Halpern, Ph.D.
IDMH Director and Professor of Psychology at SUNY New Paltz, Dr. Halpern is Chair of Disaster Mental Health Services for the Ulster County Chapter of the American Red Cross and has responded to both local and large-scale national disasters. He is co-author of the textbook Disaster Mental Health: Theory and Practice.
Phyllis R.Freeman, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Psychology at SUNY New Paltz. Dr. Freeman is the founding Chair of the IDMH Advisory Board and a Visiting Lecturer in the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Community Health in the School of Public Health at New York Medical College.
Karla Vermeulen, MA
Ms. Vermeulen is the Coordinator of the IDMH and a Lecturer in the Psychology Department at SUNY New Paltz.
to our Conference and Institute Sponsors:
Grant support of this conference does not imply endorsement by SAMHSA/ CMHS or by the Federal Government, of any conference activities or oral or written information presented at, or resulting from the conference.
A special conference rate is offered at
Minnewaska Lodge, 845-255-1110
Other lodging is available at:
Econo Lodge, 845-244-6200
Lefevre House B&B, 845-255-4747
Mohonk Mountain House, 845-255-1000
Rodeway Inn & Suites, 845-883-7373
Super 8 Lodging, 845-255-8865
For other lodging suggestions
DIRECTIONS AND PARKING INFORMATION
1. Psychological First Aid with Children: Paula Madrid, Psy.D., Director, Psychosocial Preparedness Division, National Center for Disaster Preparedness, Columbia University
This workshop will provide a brief introduction to the principles of Psychological First Aid. The speaker will discuss ways in which PFA can be applied to children by keeping in mind the specific ways in which children react to stress, trauma, and disasters.
2. The Impact of Trauma on the Relationships of First Responders: Dianne Kane, D.S.W., Assistant Director of the Counseling Services Unit of the FDNY, & Paul Greene, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, Iona College
Trauma can affect intimate relationships in many ways, most of which can be negative, although other outcomes can be positive over time. For those whose work often puts them in harm's way, the cumulative effects of trauma as well as a major traumatic event often increase feelings of alienation, isolation and distrust that have an obvious effect on any close relationship, especially the relationship with a partner or spouse. Experience working with first responder and military couples teaches us that couples benefit greatly from understanding the impact trauma has on each of them and on their relationship. Facilitating a more advanced understanding of trauma allows them to see their relationship as a source of healing rather than as an additional stressor. This workshop will highlight interventions such as psychoeducational techniques, couples psychological first aid, and related goals for couples counseling that have particular relevance when working with first responder and military couples.
3. Counseling Bereaved Children and Adolescents: Kathleen (KatySue) Tillman, M.A., Lecturer of Psychology, SUNY New Paltz, & Jeannie Straussman, LCSW, Consultant, N.Y.S. Office of Mental Health
This interactive workshop will provide participants with an overview of developmentally appropriate treatment interventions for bereaved children and adolescents. The effectiveness of individual therapy, support groups, and bereavement camps will be discussed. We will emphasize intervening early and connecting families with community resources. This workshop is designed for anyone who is interested in learning more about working with bereaved youth, and will be of special interest for those mental health professionals who work directly with children and adolescents.
4. Wellness in Chaos: Self-Care Skills for the Disaster Responder: Mary Tramontin, Psy.D., Clinical Psychologist at the Traumatic Stress Studies Program/PTSD Clinic, James J. Peters Veterans Administration Medical Center, & Meredith Johnson, Graduate Student, SUNY New Paltz
This workshop is designed for disaster responders from different disciplines who wish better to understand and implement sustainable self-care strategies in service of their professional well-being. At this workshop's conclusion, participants will be able to outline the specific elements of disaster response stress, explain the ethical rationale underlying self-care, learn to identify personal and professional barriers, begin the process of developing personalized self-care plans, and practice specific skill-building exercises to prevent potentially negative consequences of disaster response work
5. Substance Abuse Issues in Disaster Recovery: Richard E. Isralowitz, Professor and Director, Israel Regional Alcohol and Drug Abuse Resources Center, Ben Gurion University
Considerable attention has been given to disasters and substance abuse or dependence. This workshop will review key terms (e.g., abuse and dependence); review substances of concern; examine the rates of substance use following disasters; and review what research has shown about substance use following disasters. Participants will be asked to engage in a broad discussion of key questions facing researchers and treatment providers working with substance abuse populations affected by a disaster. Questions open for discussion may include: 1) What groups are at greatest risk in disaster situations, how best can they be identified and reached when disasters strike; 2) What role does substance use and abuse play in influencing other morbidities; and 3) What gaps and needs should be addressed to synthesize research findings and lessons learned from disasters and improve our public health preparedness and effectiveness in response to those that follow?
6. Cross-Cultural Issues in Disaster Response and Recovery: Monica J. Indart, Psy.D., BCETS, Emergency Response Coordinator, NJ Division of Mental Health Services, Disaster and Terrorism Branch
This workshop will examine how culture mediates all aspects of disaster response. The concept of cultural responsiveness will be introduced, one that integrates aspects of difference and diversity. The workshop will take a narrative focus, emphasizing how individuals within and across cultures make meaning from traumatic experiences. Through videotape examples and case vignettes, participants will have an opportunity to examine how these frameworks for meaning profoundly influence notions of suffering, dysfunction, survival, healing and resilience, and how interventions can be tailored to narrative frameworks. The workshop will conclude with participants exploring how their own cultural backgrounds and experiences can facilitate their work with individuals and families within and across cultures.
Best Practices and Challenges in Disaster Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care: Peter B. Gudaitis, M.Div., Executive Director & CEO, New York Disaster Interfaith Services; Ali Gheith, M.S., M.P.H., Resiliency Coordinator, Office of Mental Health Disaster Preparedness and Response, NYC Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene; & Rabbi Stephen B. Roberts, B.C.J.C., M.B.A., Associate Executive Vice President, New York Board of Rabbis
A didactic presentation on best practice models for building diverse disaster chaplaincy and spiritual care partnerships, print resources and curricula for the education and preparedness training of religious leaders. Participants will discuss the challenges of local and national standards of care, partnerships with mental health bodies and inter-religious conflicts. Come prepared to share and learn about training and operational models available nationally or used locally. Trouble shoot around your own planning and operational challenges with faith-based, secular, or government agencies. You'll come away with practical resources and a broader network of colleagues to support your work.
I. American Red Cross Psychological First Aid
Michael Cronin, Ph.D., L.C.S.W.
This basic level Disaster Services course teaches participants to provide basic care, comfort, and support to people who are experiencing disaster-related stress by providing a framework for understanding factors that affect the stress responses of disaster relief workers and the clients they serve. The course consists of five separate segments and a self-review questionnaire which is completed after the training has been completed. The course provides a framework for understanding the factors that affect stress responses in disaster relief workers and the clients they serve. In addition, it provides practical suggestions about what you can say and do as you practice the principles of Psychological First Aid. It is appropriate for any potential disaster volunteers and members of local agencies interested in supporting the role of the Red Cross in the community's actions in preparing for, responding to and recovering from emergencies and disasters.
II. Developing a Screen and Treat Plan, for Disaster Mental Health Leaders
Chris R. Brewin, Ph.D.
Please note that this session is intended for leaders of governmental and non-governmental agencies who are likely to be directly involved in the mental health response to disasters, and who would like to learn how to organize and train an outreach team to implement the Screen and Treat approach. Registration in this session will be limited and will require the advance approval of the conference organizers.