Effect of Disasters on Mental Health: Technical Level

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

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This 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. In addition to providing general knowledge, this course emphasizes two practical skills: administering psychological first aid to disaster victims in the immediate aftermath of a disaster, and screening disaster victims for common mental health disorders in the months that follow. Prerequisite Effect of Disasters on Mental Health: Awareness Level Course

Learning Objectives: 
  • Assess the psycho-physiological impact of trauma
  • Describe mental health interventions used during and in the immediate aftermath of a disaster in order to provide psychological stabilization
  • Determine who may benefit from mental health intervention
  • Administer mental health interventions to disaster victims as appropriate
  • Distinguish between a normal and pathological reaction to disaster trauma
  • Describe the most common mental health disorders associated with disaster trauma
  • Establish a preliminary assessment for the most common mental health disorders
  • Employ an interview technique that is both effective and responsive to the needs of the patient
  • Discuss treatment options for these mental health disorders
  • Identify the role of cultural elements in addressing mental health problems
  • Utilize appropriate methods for interacting with culturally diverse populations in the context of a disaster response
PHEP Capabilities: 
Community Recovery
Responder Safety and Health