Natural Disaster - Supporting Client Trauma

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Alberta Prevention and Early Intervention Supports Division Alberta Prevention and Early Intervention Supports Division

Resources for Leaders During a crisis, the public relies on leaders to make decisions and communicate information affecting their safety and well-being. Leaders, including government officials, leadership in non-governmental, and community organizations, and religious leaders play an important role in helping communities and individuals cope during and after a disaster. Learn how to plan for and address mental health needs before, during, and after a disaster.
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Canada Red Cross Canada Red Cross

Help Students Deal with the Emotional Impact of Emergencies and Disasters - Facing FearFacing Fear

Armed conflicts and terrorist attacks are causing concern in our schoolyards and classrooms. Intended for educators, this program was adapted from the American Red Cross Facing Fear program to help youth deal with the psychological impact of conflicts and terrorism.

The Facing Fear program complements the Expect the Unexpected curriculum, which provides lesson plans and activities about natural hazards and general family disaster preparedness.

Download the Facing Fear program materials.

Facing Fear also complements the lessons in core classroom subjects without making extra work for teachers, making it easy for teachers to fit preparedness activities into the regular curriculum.

The program features lesson plans for teachers and includes hands-on interactive activities for the classroom that will help students and their families prepare for disasters and provide them with tools to sort out their feelings and fears.

An important goal of this program is to involve families in the curriculum as well as in household disaster preparedness. To this end, Home connection segments of the lesson plans offer opportunities to enhance parental involvement in the experiences covered in the classroom.

Agency Support

Disasters and health emergencies can strike quickly and without warning. Voluntary sector organizations with up-to-date, comprehensive emergency plans can manage crises better and recover more quickly. An online tutorial has been developed to help you and your organization develop, implement and test a workable plan to prevent the interruption of mission-critical services in the voluntary sector, even in the event of a major disaster or service interruption. To access the tutorial, visit:

The Community Resiliency Handbook is intended to facilitate the active engagement of the non-profit and voluntary sector in ongoing, collaborative community resiliency strategies and to support their participation in planning for, responding to, and recovering from heath emergencies. To access the Handbook, visit:

Publications on organizational preparedness:

Cochrane Library Cochrane Library

Cochrane & Evidence Aid: resources for post-traumatic stress disorder following natural disasters Resources for Treatment of early acute traumatic stress syndrome, PTSD and Psychological and psychosocial interventions

Crisis Planning Crisis Planning

Preparing Your Response to the Unexpected Good crisis planning an important, regular business activity. Follow our guide to being ready to respond to the unexpected in an organized and considered way.

David V. Baldwin David V. Baldwin

Trauma Informed Pages Here, you'll find an extensive links to mental health handouts as well as links to external disaster web sites, disaster mental health guides, and other informative materials useful in assisting disaster victims. The focus of this page is less on the most recent specific disaster, and more on generally useful information and links that may be useful in a variety of disasters.


Tips for First Responders This is a simple, easy-to-use tip sheet with information for assisting people with a wide range of disabilities.


Helping Children Copewith Disaster This booklet offers parents, caregivers, and other adults suggestions on how to help children cope with the effects of disaster, as well as how to be prepared before a disaster strikes.

Interior Health Interior Health

Helping Kids Cope with Fire Threat: Helpful Information for you and your family

With the ongoing fire situation throughout Interior Health, many people are experiencing stress and anxiety. It is important for parents not to assume that their children view the fire threat the same way adults do. What children see through their eyes usually differs significantly from our own view. Here’s some helpful tips from Interior Health for you and your family.

Johns Hopkins Johns Hopkins

Mental Health Preparedness (

Disaster Mental Health Intervention Describes the reasons why post-disaster mental health intervention is important and also describes the various intervention categories

Disaster Mental Health Planning Discusses how health departments should plan ahead to provide post-disaster mental health assistance

Introduction to Mental Health and Disaster Preparedness Introduces the topics of disaster mental health services, mental health surge capacity, and psychiatric first aid

Mental Health Consequences of Disaster Examines disaster's impact on various parts of mental function and personality

Psychology and Crisis Response Discusses two areas of crisis response (taking care of your personal mental health needs and addressing the mental health needs of public health responders) and concludes by examining the mental health threat of terrorism

Roots of Terrorism Describes how government public health agencies and public health workers will function after a disaster and discusses the many duties that sanitarians must perform after a disaster

Self-Care Examines the different types of stress and provides numerous methods to reduce personal stress


Helping Children After a Wildfire:Tips for Parents and Teachers


Responding to the Needs of Children and Families After a Disaster: Linkages Between Unmet Needs and Caregiver Functioning Ryan P. Kilmer and Virginia Gil-Rivas

Project CREST: a new model for mental health intervention after a community disaster.

Community collaboration in disaster: the role of voluntary agencies.
Too often, responding organizations compete to provide services, duplicate efforts, and frequently under-estimate the need for services

Management of trauma in special populations after a disaster.
Special populations are particularly vulnerable to mental health problems in the aftermath of a disaster. Efficient delivery of mental health services, the integrated use of psychosocial services and mental health facilities, and the active intervention of trained community health care workers can offer effective management of the psychosocial problems of special populations. Women, children, adolescents, the poor, the elderly, and individuals with preexisting health problems have been identified as special populations who often suffer psychological morbidity as a result of a catastrophic disaster.

Cultural sensitivity: making trauma assessment and treatment plans culturally relevant.
The challenge in each local situation is to find the optimal means of adapting tools such as cognitive-behavioral therapy into appropriate strategies for local communities. We advocate a culturally sensitive approach to ensure that the impact of interventions is optimized to benefit the communities recovering from such a traumatic disaster.

The extent and impact of mental health problems after disaster.
Disasters are events that challenge the individual's ability to adapt, which carries the risk of adverse mental health outcomes including serious posttraumatic psychopathologies. While risk is related to degree of exposure to psychological toxins, the unique vulnerabilities of special populations within the affected community as well as secondary stressors play an important role in determining the nature and amount of morbidity.

A public mental health approach to the postdisaster treatment of children and adolescents.
This article describes the implementation of mental health intervention programs for children, adolescents,and their families exposed to natural disaster and violence.

Taylor & Francis Online Taylor & Francis Online

60,000 Disaster Victims Speak: Part II. Summary and Implications of the Disaster Mental Health Research
On the basis of the literature reviewed in Part I of this two-part series (Norris, Friedman, Watson, Byrne, Diaz, and Kaniasty, this volume), the authors recommend early intervention following disasters, especially when the disaster is associated with extreme and widespread damage to property, ongoing financial problems for the stricken community

Stability and change in stress, resources, and psychological distress following natural disaster: Findings from hurricane Andrew
The stress, resource, and symptom levels of 241 residents of southern Dade County, Florida were assessed 6 and 30 months after Hurricane Andrew. Percentages meeting study criteria for depression and PTSD did not change over time. Whereas mean levels of intrusion and arousal decreased, depressive symptoms remained stable, and avoidance/numbing symptoms actually increased.

Victim Support Victim Support

Victim Support - People who receive adequate support and information are more likely to remain connected in a positive way with their whānau, family and local community and are better placed to rebuild their lives... See broad range of resources to support clients and agency staff after disasters.

Victoria State Government Victoria State Government

Support Following an Emergency or Natural Disaster

Supporting Recovery for Children and Young People: for parents/carers - information about accessing support from allied health professionals, child and adolescent mental health services, GPs and Community Health Centres

Recovery & Reunification Recovering from a disaster takes time and is a gradual process. The National Disaster Recovery Framework (PDF, 116) provides nationwide guidance and supports States, Tribes, and local jurisdictions with recovery efforts through a flexible structure that encourages a unified and collaborative approach. Key aspects of recovery efforts for youth include reunification with their families, safety, and emotional and physical well-being, among others. - See more at: