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Workers and Victims

Aguilera, David M. and Planchon, Lynn A. The American Psychological Association- California Psychological Association Disaster Response Project: Lessons from the past, guidelines for the future. Special Section: Trauma, disaster planning, and psychological services. Professional Psychology Research and Practice; 1995 Dec Vol 26(6) 550-557. The American Psychological Association-California Psychological Association Disaster Response Project provided valuable lessons about response at the local and state levels. The authors offer guidelines from the experiences of pioneers of organized disaster response and from published accounts on how to set up disaster response networks, the necessary training to become a disaster response volunteer, and how to maintain a disaster response team (e.g., tools needed, psychologists' roles, cultural diversity, and interprofessional camaraderie). Also described are the following: interventions for stress responses from victims, helpers, and children; special problems of social disasters; implications of media presence; and psychologists' roles in educating the public and government agencies about disaster response. Finally, the future of disaster response in the mental health profession is discussed. Ahearn, Fred and Cohen, Raquel. Annotated bibliography on mental health research in disasters. National Institute of Mental Health. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1984. This bibliography represents the first comprehensive scholarly bibliography relating the trauma of disaster to victim mental health. Materials are organized by the following topics: theories of disaster and disaster behavior, physical and mental health effects of disaster, coping and recovery, social and organizational response to disaster, mental health services for disaster victims, and prevention programs. Bowenkamp, Christine The Los Angeles civil unrest: Implications for future mental health counseling interventions. Special issue: Disasters and crises: A mental health counseling perspective Journal of Mental Health Counseling; 1995 Jul Vol 17(3) 301-311. Outlines the sequence of events in the Los Angeles riots of 1992 and briefly summarizes several of the underlying causes that precipitated the event. The psychological reactions of victims and emergency responders are described. Crisis interventions used to minimize the emotional after effects are discussed. It is suggested that all communities, no matter what their size, can benefit by including a disaster mental health component in their overall disaster planning. Bromet, Evelyn and Dunn, Leslie. Mental health of mothers nine months after the Three Mile Island accident. The Urban and Social Change Review 14(2): 12-15, 1981. The incident at Three Mile Island nuclear reactor began on March 28, 1979, and was considered potentially life-threatening. This study on the mental health of mothers living near Three Mile Island focuses on the relationship between social support systems and symptoms of anxiety and depression. A sample of 328 mothers were interviewed 9 months after the accident; the results were compared with reactions of 133 mothers living near a less problematic nuclear facility. Carr, Vaughan J.; Lewin, T.J.; Webster, R.A.; Hazell, P.L.; et al Psychosocial sequelae of the 1989 Newcastle earthquake: I. Community disaster experiences and psychological morbidity 6 months post-disaster. Psychological Medicine; 1995 May Vol 25(3) 539-555. A stratified random sample of 3,007 Australian adults completed a screening questionnaire 6 months after the 1989 Newcastle earthquake. Information was obtained on initial earthquake experiences and reactions, use of specific services, social support, coping strategies, and psychological morbidity. Two weighted indices of exposure were developed: a threat index and a disruption index. Levels of exposure to threat and disruption events were significant predictors of morbidity on both the General Health Questionnaire and Impact of Event Scale, as were coping style and gender. Effects of exposure to threat and disruption were largely additive; higher exposure was associated with greater use of support services, higher perceived stressfulness, and more severe psychological morbidity. Use of avoidance as a coping strategy, female gender. lower social support, and being older were also associated with higher post-disaster psychological distress. Cohen, Raquel and Ahearn, Frederick. Handbook for mental health care of disaster victims. Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1980. Developed as a guide for disaster workers, this book covers three major themes: disaster behavior, disaster planning, and postdisaster psychological intervention. Concepts of stress and crisis; loss, mourning, and grieving; social and emotional resources; and coping and adaptation are discussed. Dingman, Robert L. and Ginter, Earl J. Disasters and crises: The role of mental health counseling. Special Issue: Disasters and crises: A mental health counseling perspective. Journal of Mental Health Counseling; 1995 Jul Vol 17(3) 259-263. Provides a brief overview of events that have contributed to the development of what currently constitutes disaster-crisis mental health counseling, an area of counseling that has gained increased clinical attention and empirical focus within the field of mental health counseling. Topics discussed include the significance and need for disaster-crisis counseling and organizational efforts in this field by the American Red Cross, the American Counseling Association, and the American Mental Health Counselors Association. Dingman, Robert L. The mental health counselor's role in Hurricane Andrew. Special Issue: Disasters and crises: A mental health counseling perspective. Journal of Mental Health Counseling; 1995 Jul Vol 17(3) 321-335. Discusses the role of disaster workers in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew, focusing on mental health workers. The effects on disaster workers are discussed, followed by some reported experiences of workers as well as victims. Hurricane Andrew generated the first successful test of the Disaster Mental Health Services (DMHS) of the American Red Cross in a large disaster. DMHS recorded 28,474 mental health interventions during the operation. Many lessons were learned. New positions were identified, interdisciplinary cooperation was enhanced, and creative interventions were developed and became standard. Mental health interventions and various skills needed by disaster mental health counselors are discussed. Erikson, Kai. Loss of communality at Buffalo Creek. American Journal of Psychiatry 133(3): 302-305, 1976. The 1972 Buffalo Creek slag flood killed 125 persons and permanently disrupted the lives of the 4,000 survivors. They suffered not only individual but also collective trauma - damage to the fabric of community. Effects were delayed until the rebuilding phase. After the destruction of the social network and hasty resettlement, victims perceived new neighbors as less moral than themselves and felt isolated from the community. Fain, R.M. and Schreier, R.A. Disaster, stress and the doctor. Medical Education; 1989 Jan Vol 23(1) 91-96. Discusses how, in most casualty departments and high stress areas, there exist informal procedures and practices to deal with the psychological reactions of medical staff to extreme stressors. However, these are often not adequate in preventing long-term effects. It is suggested that a formal intervention model be formulated. The model should include the setting up of a preventive program that starts with the appropriate selection of staff; development of peer and supervisory support through team building; and the education of doctors, nurses, and other health professionals on the possible personal and team effects in the wake of the disaster. Farberow, Norman. Training manual for human service workers in major disasters. National Institute of Mental Health. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1983. This manual is designed to train mental health and crisis workers in handling the emotional needs of natural disaster victims. The basic principles of crisis intervention and supportive treatment found to be most effective in postdisaster work, including outreach procedures and "curbstone" therapy, are discussed. Pretraining and training processes are described, as well as the burnout syndrome and options for managing this problem. Farberow, Norman and Gordon, Norma. Manual for child health workers in major disasters. National Institute of Mental Health. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1981. Children are a vulnerable group with special needs after a disaster. Since a highly trained staff is not always available in a disaster situation, this manual is meant to serve as a guide to the establishment of services to meet emotional problems that result when a major disaster disrupts the child's functioning. The framework for intervention procedures with children during and after disasters is described. Fraser, James and Spicka, Douglas. Handling the emotional response to disaster: The case for American Red Cross/community mental health collaboration. Community Mental Health Journal 17(4): 255-264, 1981. The theory, rationale, and a wqorking model for integrating community resources during times of disaster is the theme of this analysis. A collaborative approach, based upon the Dayton, Ohio area model, is presented as a means for meeting the emotional needs of disaster victims by linking the efforts of the American Red Cross and four community mental health centers. This approach makes use of various resources, provides skill and knowledge lacking in the individual agency, and provides a preventive factor. Gist, Richard and Stolz, Stephanie. Mental health promotion and the media: Community response to the Kansas City hotel disaster. American Psychologist 37(10): 1136-1139, 1982. On July 17, 1981, a hotel disaster in Kansas City, Missouri killed 111 persons and injured more than 200 others. Discussed is a threefold community-wide response, involving mental health centers and other agencies, which was immediately shaped to address the mental health needs of victims, survivors, rescuers, and the entire community. Gleser, Goldine; Green, Bonnie; and Winget, Carolyn. Prolonged psychosocial effects of disaster: A study of Buffalo Creek. New York: Academic Press, 1981. Many Buffalo Creek flood survivors still bear the grim emotional and psychological reminders associated with the disaster. In a survey conducted by the University of Cincinnati, three-fourths of the respondents still experience nightmares associated with the disaster 2 years after its occurrence. Similarly, local mental health professionals in the area report a higher incidence of severe anxiety, depression, belligerence, and alcohol abuse associated with the disaster. Jacobs, Gerard A. The development of a national plan for disaster mental health: Special Section: Trauma, disaster planning, and psychological services.Professional Psychology Research and Practice; 1995 Dec Vol 26(6) 543-549. In this article, the author provides a history of the development of the national plan for disaster mental health, discusses its present state, and provides some suggestions for the future of theory, research, and practice in the field. The focus is on the provision of mental health services in the emergency phase of a disaster, rather than on the long-term follow-up. Consequently, the focus is on the American Red Cross's disaster mental health program and, to a lesser extent, the American Psychological Association's Disaster Response Network. Kaniasty, Krzysztof and Norris, Fran H. In search of altruistic community: Patterns of social support mobilization following Hurricane Hugo American Journal of Community Psychology; 1995 Aug Vol 23(4) 447-477. 12 months after Hurricane Hugo, 498 White and 502 Black disaster victims and non-victims were asked about social support that had been exchanged following the hurricane. Victims received and provided very high levels of tangible, informational, and emotional support. Disaster exposure was a strong predictor of help received and a modest predictor of help provided. Post-disaster help was not distributed equally and disaster exposure was more strongly related to social support in some groups than in others. Race, education, and age c consistently moderated the impact of disaster exposure on receipt of post- disaster support. Blacks and less educated victims received less help than similarly affected victims who were White or more educated. The relative dis- advantage of being old in receiving support was not the case for those elderly disaster victims who experienced threats to their lives or health. Lindy, Jacob; Grace, Mary; and Green, Bonnie. Survivors: Outreach to a reluctant population. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry 51(3): 468-478, 1981. This article discusses the development of an outreach program by mental health professionals following the fire at the Beverly Hills Supper Club, Southgate, Kentucky (1977), which killed 165 persons and totally destroyed the club. The purpose of the outreach program was to identify survivors at risk for long- term impairment and to offer preventive services. Four methods of outreach were used: media, community case finding, special groups, and direct phone contact. Lindy, Jacob and Lindy, Joanne. Planning and delivery of mental health services in disaster: The Cincinnati experience. The Urban and Social Change Review 14(2), 1981. A mental health preparedness plan for the Greater Cincinnati area was developed based on the concepts of knowledge, sanction, information processing, needs assessment, and action. Elements of the plan were: (1) the department disaster coordinator, (2) disaster assessment team, (3) roster of available clinicians, (4) central communications point, and (5) an activation procedure. The plan was tested following the Beverly Hills Supper Club fire and the calamity at the Cincinnati Riverfront Coliseum Concert (1979). Massey, Kimberly B. Analyzing the uses and gratifications concept of audience activity with a qualitative approach: Media encounters during the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake disasterJournal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media; 1995 Sum Vol 39(3) 328-349. Diaries and narratives produced by 29 college students during the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake served as the data for a qualitative analysis grounded in the conventional philosophy, if not the traditional methodology, of the uses and gratifications perspective. 299 individual media episodes were interpreted. Audience activity before, during, and after media exposure was studied through the application of the Typology of Audience Activity which demonstrated the operation of the 9 types of media activity proposed by its creators. Conclusions call for the re-direction (rather than abandonment) of audience-based research away from general-trend audience consumption and towards more specific cultural interaction of people with media. Morgan, Jane American Red Cross Disaster Mental Health Services: Implementation and recent developments. Special Issue: Disasters and crises: A Mental health counseling perspective. Journal of Mental Health Counseling; 1995 Jul Vol 17(3) 291-300. The American Red Cross Disaster Mental Health Services program uses a multi- disciplinary approach to deliver crisis intervention to disaster workers and victims in the aftermath of a hurricane. This model was used for the first time in 1992 in response to Hurricane Andrew and is now a part of all major disaster operations involving the American Red Cross. The author discusses the impetus for development of the program, the early implementation of the program, and ongoing challenges in the further development of this approach to disaster services. Since 1992, the basic level training course has been offered to approximately 3,000 participants. Parad, Howard; Resnik, H.L.P.; and Parad, Libbie, eds. Emergency and Disaster Management: A mental health sourcebook. This book consists of a series of articles on mental health interventions in a variety of natural and technological disasters. Community resources for such interventions are explored and include natural family and community networks, schools, mental health and social service systems, and business groups working with social service agencies. Ways of mobilizing rapid community response to disaster, and ways of outreach at the time of disaster and in the months afterwards, are discussed; exemplary programs are described in detail. Pearlman, Laurie Anne and Mac-Ian, Paula S. Vicarious traumatization: An empirical study of the effects of trauma work on trauma therapists. Special Section: Trauma, disaster planning, and psychological services.Professional Psychology Research and Practice; 1995 Dec Vol 26(6) 558-565. This study examined vicarious traumatization (i.e. the deleterious effects of trauma therapy on the therapist) in 188 self-identified trauma therapists. Participants completed questionnaires about their exposure to survivor clients' trauma material as well as their own psychological well-being. Those newest to the work were experiencing the most psychological difficulties (as measured by the Traumatic Stress Institute Belief Scale) and Symptom Checklist-90- Revised (L. Derogatis, 1977) symptoms. Trauma therapists with a personal trauma history showed more negative effects from the work than those without a personal history. Trauma work appeared to affect those without a personal trauma history in the area of other-esteem. The study indicates the need for more training in trauma therapy and more supervision and support for both newer and survivor trauma therapists. Sank, Lawrence. Primary prevention and treatment in a health maintenance organization. American Psychologist 34(4): 334-338, 1979. In March 1977, members of the Hanafi Muslim sect seized and held hostages at three sites in Washington, DC. The greatest number, more than 100 persons, were held in the B'Nai B'Rith national headquarters for 39 hours. Many of these hostages seffered emotional after effects from this ordeal. The mental health staff of a Washington area health maintenance organization, to which many of the B'Nai B'Rith hostages belonged, made its services available to all these men and women, regardless of their health insurance coverage. Treatment interventions followed a primary prevention model using a broad- spectrum behavioral group approach. Tierney, Kathleen and Baisden, Barbara. Crisis Intervention Programs for Disaster Victims in Smaller Communities. National Institute of Mental Health. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1979. The disaster-related mental health needs of residents of small communities geographically removed from large urban centers is the focus of this report. The psychological effects of the Buffalo Creek, West Virginia flood (1972) and the Xenia, Ohio, tornado (1974) are contrasted. Six small communities having experienced natural disasters were matched with six similar nondisaster communities. The findings set forth guidelines for the planning and operations of disaster-related emergency health programs at the community level. Zarle, Thomas; Hartsough, Don; and Ottinger, Donald. Tornado recovery: The development of a professional-paraprofessional response to a disaster. Journal of Community Psychology 2:311-320, 1974. This paper discusses emergency services and recovery operations in the small Indiana community city of Monticello, which was hit by a series of tornados in 1974. Recovery efforts evolved into three distinct phases that were relative to the disaster community's evident and prevailing needs. Initially, it was necessary to devote time to developing the program and to training paraprofessional workers. During the first months of recovery, the disaster victims' needs were most immediate, and it seemed most appropriate to use a response that focused on the acute effects of the disaster. By the third phase of the project, the needs of both victims and other members of the community were more related to the long process of rebuilding. In this respect, the focus of the program shifted from a referral-based crisis intervention response to a coordinated outreach program grounded in both social systems theory and crisis intervention.