8th Annual IDMH Conference



was held April 7 & 8, 2011

** DVD-ROM Set Available for Only $35 **

For more info: Download 2011conference_dvdset_orderform

In spring 2011, as our nation anticipated the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the annual Institute for Disaster Mental Health conference examined the mental health response to each act of violence perpetrated that day through the lens of a decade’s perspective. By reviewing the specific challenges created by each attack and the lessons learned in responding to them, it is hoped that the mental health community became better prepared for the next mass casualty disaster.

“Lessons from Adversity: Strengthening Preparedness with Reflections from 9/11” had two goals: to communicate insights learned from the attacks to mental health professionals, emergency management personnel, spiritual care providers, uniformed responders, and others who will be involved in providing assistance after future mass casualty events; and to prepare these helpers for the emotional and logistical challenges that are elicited by commemorative events. A careful review of the major lessons learned over the past decade enabled attendees to foster more positive recovery outcomes in impacted communities, and to maintain their own resilience while responding to the needs of others.

Helpful Resources for Commemorating 9/11:

The Art of Remembering: Summary from the Commemorating Disaster Plenary for Mental Health Providers held at the IDMH 8th Annual Training in April, 2011

MHA of NYC 9/11 Healing and Remembrance Program

Memories of 9-11 Archive.  What do you remember about the day of September 11, 2001? How have the attacks impacted you over the last decade? Please add your voice to Memories of 9-11, a website created in anticipation of the 10th anniversary as a kind of online oral history archiving people's memories and reflections of the attacks and their long-term impact on all our lives. You can submit your story in the form of a written comment, and there are instructions about how to submit images or other forms of media in the instructions. Of course you also can read other people's recollections. We hope you'll participate and will share this invitation with others. 

Links to all presentation handouts from the 2011 conference are available below, see Conference Schedule

Conference Brochure

Conference Schedule

** Includes Links to Presentation Handouts **

Thursday, April 7th

Morning Sessions: Lessons from September 11, 2001

9:00–9:15: Welcome and Introductions

  • Laurel Garrick Duhaney, Ph.D., SUNY New Paltz Interim Provost/VP
  • John Gibb, Acting Commissioner of the NYS Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services
  • Andrew Feeney, Director of NYS Division of Homeland Security adn Emergency Services
  • James Halpern, Ph.D., Director, IDMH

9:15–10:00: The Attack on the World Trade Center: Pathways to Healing for Victims and Their Families

10:00–10:45: Supporting First Responders and Their Families Following the Attack on the World Trade Center

10:45–11:00: Coffee Break

11:00–11:45: The 9/11 Attack on the Pentagon

11:45–12:15: Q & A

12:15–1:15: Lunch

Afternoon Sessions

1:15:  Welcoming Remarks

  • Michael F. Hogan, PhD, Commissioner of the New York State Office of Mental Health

1:15–2:00: Flight 93: The Attack that Failed

2:00–2:45: Memories and Milestones in the Oklahoma City Bombing Recovery: Lessons from the 10 Year Anniversary and Beyond

2:45–3:00: Break

3:00–3:45: Lessons Learned from the Spiritual Care Response to the 9/11 Attacks

  • Rev. Earl E. Johnson, M.Div.
  • Presentation Outline available soon

3:45–4:15: Q & A

4:15–5:00: Networking, book sales, tabling

Evening Lecture

7:30–9:00: The Media's Perspective in a Post 9/11 World

  • Ray Suarez, Senior Correspondent, PBS NewsHour


Friday, April 8th

Professional Trainings

9:00–12:00 Concurrent Morning Sessions: Commemorating Disaster

with coffee break at 10:30

I. Providing Support Across the Recovery Continuum

Intended for mental health professionals

Panel Chair:  Mary Tramontin, Psy.D.

Panelists:  Steven Moskowitz, L.M.S.W.; John Tassey, Ph.D.; Margaret Pepe, Ph.D.; and Sanja Blazekovic

  • The varied nature of anniversary reactions
  • Matching commemorative events and services with the needs of survivors and the community
  • Overview of supports that will be available for the 9/11 ten-year anniversary through Office for Victims of Crime-sponsored MHANYC services and programming
  • Preparing for professional issues that impact helpers across the recovery continuum, from immediate responses to commemorations

      Presentation Handouts:

II. Building Community Cohesion at Commemorative Events

Intended for uniformed first responders, emergency managers, spiritual care providers, educators, hospital workers, community members, members of the media, and others who will be involved in planning or participating in anniversary events

Panel Chair: Arthur R. Snyder, B.S.

Panelists: Greg Brunelle, M.S.; Ali Gheith; M.S., Elliott Hill, L.C.S.W.; and Rev. Earl Johnson, M.Div.

  • Organizing commemorative events that are sensitive to emotional needs, address cross-cultural issues, and incorporate a range of faith-based communities
  • Incorporating mental health professionals in event planning and response
  • Working cooperatively with the media prior to and during events

      Presentation Handouts:

12:00–1:00 Lunch

1:00–3:30 Concurrent Professional Workshops

For more details, see

1. Lessons Learned from Multiple Disasters Since 9/11; Incorporation into planning and Preparation

2. Beyond Competence: Culturally Responsive Trauma-Informed Care

3. Collaborative Partnerships Between Mental Health and Spiritual Care Providers

4. Mental Health Responses During Mass Casualty Incidents: Family Assistance Center Operations and Related Sites

5. Understanding and Responding to Trauma-Related Substance Abuse

6. Community Capacity Building Through Cross Cultural Communication

  • Ali Gheith, M.S.
  • Workshop Handout available soon

7. Healing Together: Working with Couples in the Aftermath of Trauma

8. Supporting Children, Teens, and Families Post-Disaster


Conference Staff

IDMH Director: James Halpern, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, SUNY New Paltz

IDMH Deputy Director: Karla Vermeulen, Ph.D., Visiting Assistant Professor of Psychology, SUNY New Paltz

IDMH Coordinator: Meredith Johnson, M.S.

IDMH Graduate Assistant: Rachael Bisceglie

Special Thanks to our Sponsors:

NYS Office of Emergency Management

Campus Auxiliary Services

Campus Bookstore

Center for Research, Regional Education & Outreach

Mental Health America of Dutchess County

Mental Health Association of New York City9/11 Healing & Remembrance Program

Metropolitan College of New York

The Walmart Foundation

Community Sponsors:

The Big Cheese

Bywater Bistro


Emmanuel's Market Place

Gadaleto's Seafood

The Gilded Otter

In Good Taste Spirit Shop

Jacks Meat & Deli

Handmade & More

Heartbreaking Dawns

Kiss My Face

Main Course Caterers

Minnewaska Lodge

The Mudd Puddle Coffee Roasters & Cafe

Rock & Snow

Rykowski Livestock LCC

Stop & Shop

Twisted Food

PDQ Printing & Graphics

Under the Magenta Moon


Winter Moon Studios

Local Lodging:

Special conference rate being offered at:

Minnewaska Lodge, 845-255-1110

Other lodging is available at:

Econo Lodge, 845-244-6200

Rodeway Inn & Suites, 845-883-7373
Super 8 Lodging, 845-255-8865
Lefevre House B&B, 845-255-4747

For other lodging suggestions:

Directions & Parking Information: