An Article Out Loud from the Domestic Preparedness Journal.
Disasters are often described in terms of the physical damages they incur. However, the significant impact on mental health, which can have even longer-term consequences, sometimes is not addressed until after the response phase of the disaster is complete. This article explains the importance of immediately and simultaneously addressing both the physical and psychological effects of an event.
Narrated by MacGregor Stephenson.
Ruth Baugher Palmer, Ph.D., is a professor of Counseling Psychology at Eastern University, near Philadelphia, PA. She is the director of the master’s program in Clinical Counseling, which has a concentration in Trauma Studies. She is a licensed psychologist and holds certifications from the Green Cross Academy of Traumatology and the International Association of Trauma Professionals in compassion fatigue education, grief counseling, and clinical and field traumatology. She served as a field traumatologist with Green Cross during wildfire disasters in Paradise, California (2019) and Lane County, Oregon (2020).
Mary McNaughton-Cassill, Ph.D., is a professor of clinical psychology at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Her research focuses on coping with the stress of modern life, and she has written two books on the topic (“Mind the Gap” and “Give Way”). She also has a blog on the Psychology Today website entitled “Mental Health Matters.” She is a fellow of the University of Texas Academy of Distinguished Teachers and a licensed therapist with experience working with trauma survivors in various settings, including a college counseling center, a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs hospital, and private practice. In addition, she has deployed with Green Cross as a team member, compassion fatigue coordinator, team leader, and stress management educator in Puerto Rico, Texas, California, and Oregon.
Dr. Mary Schoenfeldt is an emergency management professional with a specialty in school and community crisis. She was tasked with creating the job description and filling the job of director of recovery for a school district following a mass murder suicide in a high school cafeteria. Her experience includes assisting schools such as Columbine High School, Sandy Hook Elementary, and many others over the years as they struggled to not only respond but to recovery from incidents no one imagined would happen to them. She has also trained and consulted with hundreds of schools that have not made the front-page headlines. She is available to assist other communities and school systems. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org