142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Building Resilience in Workers and Communities

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

Betsy Eagin, MPH , National Clearinghouse for Worker Safety and Health Training, Washington DC, DC
Kevin Yeskey, MD , National Clearinghouse for Worker Safety and Health Training, Washington DC, DC
Following disasters, response workers are often found to present with higher rates of mental ill-health than the general population.  Research has shown that mental health  (also called Behavioral health) is positively impacted by various support systems, interventions and self-care activities, particularly in workers. Often disasters disrupt support systems and post-event training is difficult to arrange.

The NIEHS WETP program has developed the Gulf Responder Resilience Training project, which focuses on training possible response workers (often from medically underserved communities) in mental health and self-care to promote resilience. This pre-disaster training is intended to build skills and knowledge of mental health symptoms, and resources available in any community for both workers and supervisors. To address issues in medically-underserved communities, particularly those which may lack a psychological health professional, WETP has created a training program for general medical providers, including nurses, that introduces basic mental health care, risk factors and interventions. 

Community stakeholder involvement has been critical to developing training that is relevant to underserved communities.  Balancing self-care with referral to advanced services that may not exist is a continuing challenge and communities are best poised to support WETP in determining this balance. The newly created training materials focused on workers in the Gulf Coast, taught by community organizations, will be a framework for discussions of strategies to best involve communities and in developing relevant mental health training.  

Learning Areas:

Occupational health and safety

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the need for self-care and increased knowledge of mental health in workers Describe the ways community organizations can play an active role in creating locally relevant training

Keyword(s): Mental Health, Occupational Health and Safety

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked on the Gulf Responder Resilience Training Project since January 2013, including having conducted multiple literature reviews on disaster mental health, hosted a Subject Matter experts meeting and coordinated feedback and community involvement during the development of training materials.
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.