Effect of Disasters on Mental Health: Awareness Level

Mental Health
Online Course
1 hour
University of Iowa
Upper Midwest PERLC

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This Awareness Level course is intended for anyone who will come into professional contact with disaster victims, including DMAT, hospital workers, EMTs, primary care providers and public health workers.

Learning Objectives: 
  • Define disaste
  • Define trauma
  • Describe how proximity to the event affects the potential for traumatic response
  • Describe the triune brain and how each part of it functions during a traumatic event
  • Describe automatic response to trauma: flight or fight, freeze, social engagement
  • Describe 4 major components in the psycho-physiological response to trauma: somatic, emotional, behavioral, and cognitive
  • Describe the epidemiological triangle in relation to the effect of disasters on mental health
  • Describe how various elements of the agent, host and environment of a disaster impacts its effect on the mental health of its victims
  • Analyze a disaster and its effect on victims using the epidemiological triangle
  • Describe the use of the Haddon Matrix in prevention, mitigation and intervention of disasters and their effect on mental health
PHEP Capabilities: 
Community Recovery
Responder Safety and Health