142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Challenges in Developing a Disaster Worker Mental Health Resiliency Training Program

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Jonathan Rosen, MS, CIH , National Clearinghouse for Worker Safety and Health Training, Schenectady, NY
The National Institutes for Environmental Health Sciences Worker Education and Training Program (WETP) was involved in responding to a the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and identified the need for training disaster workers about stress, trauma, mental health effects, and resiliency. There are a number of challenges to developing a "Disaster Worker Mental Health Resilience Training Program":

1) overcoming workers resistance to viewing mental health as an important health and safety concern,

2) developing training materials that put complex mental health concepts and terminology into plain language,

3) balancing the needs to teach self-care and stress management with information on employer / organizational interventions that largely don't exist at this point in time.

The goal of implementing the program includes improvements in mental health outcomes for participating disaster workers as well as improvement in co-worker and organizational support systems.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Administration, management, leadership
Advocacy for health and health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Occupational health and safety
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
List at least 3 obstacles for developing disaster worker mental health resiliency training . Cite 3 actions workers can take to reduce negative mental health outcomes following a disaster.

Keyword(s): Disasters, Mental Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a Certified Industrial Hygienist with a Masters Degree in Industrial Health with more than 25 years experience. I have been actively working in the field of training and addressing disaster worker mental health issues.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.