Online Program

Integrating Disaster Mental Health and Resiliency Training into Existing Occupational Health and Safety Programs

Monday, November 2, 2015 : 2:30 p.m. - 2:50 p.m.

Joseph Hughes Jr., MPH, Director, Worker Education and Training Branch, NIEHS, Research Triangle Park, NC
Betsy Eagin, MPH, National Clearinghouse for Worker Safety and Health Training, Washington DC, DC
The National Institutes for Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Worker Training Program (WTP) has been involved in the response to multiple disasters in the Gulf and following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, identified the need for an occupational health training that discussed stress, trauma, mental health effects, and resiliency following disasters.

To address the mental health needs identified by communities, NIEHS WTP developed a three part Disaster resilience training program. The program focuses on introducing mental health to workers, supervisors and care providers. Each audience faces a unique set of stressors in a disaster and this new program addresses these concerns individually.

Program materials have been designed and pilot tested with communities in Louisiana, Alabama and New York.  While created for three unique audiences, modifications and adaptations to meet the unique stressors for disaster case workers, English as a second language learners and community health workers have been undertaken by interested communities.  The ability to modify trainings for unique audiences allows for wide-spread use of materials in multiple disaster prone areas.  Core program components may be added as a stand-alone ‘module’ to existing occupational health trainings, allowing for basic mental health and coping skills to be introduced to an audience which may not otherwise receive them.

This presentation will explore the the important role of communities in program development and the specific need for mental health within occupational health during disasters. Additional discussion of new training audiences and barriers identified through the two year pilot testing component will be included.

Learning Areas:

Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Occupational health and safety

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the importance of customizing mental health training for specific occupations List three mental health outcomes commonly seen following disasters

Keyword(s): Mental Health, Training

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Joseph ‘Chip’ Hughes is currently the director of an innovative federal safety and health training program based at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. The program supports cooperative agreements to develop and deliver model safety and health training programs for workers involved in hazardous substances response with numerous universities, unions, community colleges and other non-profit organizations throughout the nation. He has directed the NIEHS Disaster Resilience Program since its inception in 2012.
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.