The Basic Skills of Disaster Behavioral Health. TADBHAC Joint Partnership With VDH/DMHMRSAS. Course Objectives. Identify range of responses to disasters Explain survivor hierarchy of needs during a disaster
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TADBHAC Joint Partnership With VDH/DMHMRSAS
How does behavioral health work in a disaster?
What is paraprofessional role in a disaster?
Where might it occur?
Stress is the body's physical and mental reactions to events and circumstances that frighten, excite, confuse, endanger, or irritate
The next slide will be a test of your observational skills in identifying the subtle cues of stress. Look closely….
* Indicates a flag for professional referral
Disaster individual/community worker
Characteristics characteristics characteristics
With warning v. Individual expectations/
Without warning characteristics experience
Time of day and social support diversity
Geographic diversity/ physical/emotional
Location demographics health
Scope of impact disaster history personal issues
Natural v. Previous trauma media coverage
Post-disaster communications impact of disaster on them
Think about advice or support you received during the disaster you described in the introduction. What was helpful?
What would have helped?
Protect + Direct + Connect
Summary of Basic Principles of Psychological First Aid:
• Offer respect. Politely observe first, don’t intrude. Then ask simple respectful questions to find out how you may be of help.
• Be prepared. Affected people may avoid or cling to you.
• Speak calmly. Be patient, responsive, and sensitive.
• Speak clearly. Use simple, concrete terms; don’t use acronyms. If necessary, speak slowly.
• Point out strengths. Acknowledge the positive features of what the person has done to keep safe and reach the current setting.
• Deal with immediate needs. Adapt the information you provide to directly address the person’s immediate goals and clarify answers repeatedly as needed.
• Share helpful information. Give information that is accurate and age-appropriate for your audience. If you don’t know, tell them this and offer to find out.
• Don’t be a mind reader. Do not make assumptions about what the survivor is thinking, feeling or experiencing.
• Don’t assume trauma. Do not take for granted that everyone exposed to a disaster will be traumatized.
• Don’t pathologize. Do not label anyone with symptoms or diagnoses.
• Don’t talk down to a survivor. Do not patronize survivors, or focus on their helplessness, weaknesses, mistakes, or disabilities.
• Don’t assume they need you. Do not think that all survivors want or need to talk to you.
• Don’t debrief. Do not probe for painful or gory details of what happened.
• Don’t spread rumors. Do not speculate or offer unsubstantiated information.
• Don’t be faddish. Do not suggest fad interventions. Stay with the tried-and-true basics of meeting immediate needs with respect and sensitivity.
• Distinct From Trauma & Disorder
• Turning Point
• Momentous Decision
• Danger and Opportunity
• Face and give the person your undivided attention.
• Lean toward the person and make eye contact.
• Repeat or paraphrase what the person is saying.
• Check your understanding.
Empathetic Response leads
Helpful Response Leads
•Offer minimal encouragers, such as the “lassie twist.”
• Show your faith in the person by not giving glib advice.
Ask “making meaning” questions
Elderly Persons with mental illness Children Physically Challenged WorkforceCultural and ethnic differences