Monitor on Psychology - September 2011 - (Page 97)

Disaster relief disaster survivors. B Y B ETH A ZA R training Students will also do two rounds of service learning. The first will train them to answer calls from a crisis phone line, where they will then work for at least 50 hours. The second will require them to complete Red Cross training and become volunteers to evaluate client needs, maintain records and help people contact their family and loved ones. They will then shadow a Red Cross Disaster Action Team on a number of occasions. By the end of the program, students will have the skills to help local, regional or national aid organizations provide a range of services and psychological first aid in a post-disaster environment, Rotunda says. He hopes the program will grow into a concentration within his university’s psychology department or a certificate program available to all university students. To determine the programs’ effectiveness, he will survey students before and after the course to determine whether the training influences students’ interest and participation in volunteering with aid agencies. “I hope the program will inspire students to go on to volunteer or join organizations that provide aid following disasters,” he says. n Beth Azar is a writer in Portland, Ore. 97 A $10,000 APF grant will train students to help I n the aftermath of such disasters as 9/11, Hurricane Katrina and the Japanese tsunami and nuclear crisis, governments and aid agencies have recognized the pressing need to care for survivors. In addition to offering shelter, food and connections to aid, volunteers can be trained in “psychological first aid” in order to offer emotional support as part of their response activities and to make referrals to psychologists or other mental health professionals. Now, APF has given University of West Florida associate professor and clinical psychologist Robert Rotunda, PhD, a $10,000 grant to create a pilot training program for undergraduate and graduate students to do just that. The yearlong program, which begins this fall, will offer a seminar on crisis intervention and disaster psychology to introduce students to the behavioral health care services offered by aid organizations such as the Red Cross. Students will also complete free online and in-class trainings from the Red Cross and the National Center for PTSD to supplement the core curriculum, which includes learning psychological first aid — an approach that focuses on empathetic listening, providing realistic assurances, encouraging coping and resiliency skills, and offering educational materials on how to manage emotional and behavioral responses to crises. septeMber 2011 • Monitor on psychology

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Monitor on Psychology - September 2011

Monitor on Psychology - September 2011
President’s Column
From the CEO
Supreme Court hears psychologists on prison and video game cases
Antipsychotics are overprescribed in nursing homes
New MCAT likely to recognize the mind-body connection
A $2 million boost for military and families
In Brief
On Your Behalf
Judicial Notebook
Random Sample
Speaking of Education
An uncertain future for American workers
Advocating for psychotherapy
Seared in our memories
Helping kids cope in an uncertain world
APA and Nickelodeon team up
Muslims in America, post 9/11
Bin Laden’s death
‘They expect us to be there’
Answering the call of public policy
Candidates answer final questions
APA News
Division Spotlight
New leaders
Disaster relief training
Honoring teaching excellence

Monitor on Psychology - September 2011