Disasters: Mental Health Interventions

John D. Weaver


ISBN: 1-56887-011-6
Publisher: Professional Resource Press
Copyright: 1995

Format: Paperback; 220 pp


To order by phone: 1-800-443-3364

Professional Resource Press


For those interested in learning more about the material covered  in the DMH book, here is a list of topics that have been included:

Introduction - Anatomy of a Crisis - What Constitutes a Disaster? - Classification, Declaration, and Scope of Disasters (American Red Cross Classification System; Federal Disaster Declarations; More Gauges of Disaster) - Development and Evolution of DMH Strategies - The Psychological Aftermath of a Disaster (Typical Reactions and Needs of Victims; Reactions of Children and Adolescents; Adult Reactions; Issues of Diversity) - Key Disaster Mental Health Concepts - The Context of Response (Planning for Disasters; Getting Started in Disaster Mental Health; American Red Cross and the Disaster Services Human Resources System; Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster Relief; Other DMH Opportunities - Profit and Nonprofit) - The Helping Process (Interviewing/Counseling Basics; Emotional First Aid; DMH Crisis Intervention) - Other Aspects of DMH (Documentation; Triage; On-call Services; The DMH Role at Headquarters; The Work Environment; More Tricks of the Trade) - Loss, Bereavement,  and  Grieving  (Stages of Grief  Reactions;  Factors t hat  May Complicate Bereavement; Times Needing Special Attention; Therapeutic Tasks of the Grieving Process) - Self-Awareness (What Motivates DMH Workers?; Sources of Job Stress; Liking the Job Too Much) - Stress Management (Proven Techniques; Maintaining a Sense of Humor; Burnout) - Working With the Media (Potential for Embarrassment; Practical Tips) - Heading Home From a Disaster - Supervisory Issues (Administrative Tasks and Challenges; Selection of Work Locations; Supervisory Contacts; Factors That Influence Supervisory Relationships; Sensitivity and Support; Helping Workers Close Out Their Assignments; Why Emergency Teams May Sometimes Fail) - Further Evolution of DMH - Epilogue - Appendix A: Commonly Prescribed Psychotropic Medications - Appendix B: Morgue Operations (Case Study) - References - Index

To give you an idea of what others have thought about the book, here are the quotes that appear on the rear cover:

Few mental health professionals, either through our academic training or professional experience are well prepared to serve people who have experienced extraordinary life events such as disasters. This book is a valuable resource to the professional on the road to better understanding and serving people who have survived disaster.

             Brian W. Flynn, EdD, Chief

             Emergency Services and Disaster Relief Branch

             Center for Mental Health Services

Well-organized and helpful to a broad spectrum of readers.

             Calvin J. Frederick, PhD, Professor

             Department of Psychiatry


...provides a scholarly yet simultaneously enjoyable review of the 'state of the art' in disaster mental health interventions. He provides a thorough study of the relevant literature along with practical and pragmatic suggestions for effectively assisting disaster survivors with their emotional journey to recovery. [The author] is down to earth, warm, and human in his examples, anecdotes, and self-revelations. His knowledge of the field is extensive, and his passion for the work is infectious. This book is a 'must' for all who work in the field of disaster mental health.

             Diane Myers, RN, MSN

             Disaster Mental Health Consultant, Monterey, CA

Mr. Weaver has brought together an excellent combination of disaster crisis intervention information and application. I plan to use it in my training classes in crisis intervention and as a reference for my work in disaster mental health. Ease of reading and concreteness make this volume valuable to the experienced professional as well as the novice.

             Robert L. Dimgman, EdD, Professor

             Counseling and Rehabilitation Department

             Marshall University, Huntington, WV

...provides a practical, detailed blueprint for the individual practitioner or team organizer interested in providing disaster mental health services. Drawing from his extensive experience and a wealth of research, Mr. Weaver makes an enormous contribution toward preparing and empowering social workers and other professionals in taking active and appropriate roles in disaster preparedness and response. This book will be used as the foundation for organizing and training social workers in Hawaii as part of a state-wide disaster response system.

             Ken Lee, ACSW, DCSW, Soc. Work Representative

             Hawaii State VOAD Co-Organizer

             Disaster Response Team - NASW Hawaii Chapter

This review appeared in the American Orthopsychiatric Association's publication, "Readings, A Journal of Reviews and Commentary in Mental Health" (Vol. 11, No. 2, June 1996):

Providing practical information and crisis intervention techniques for use in disaster situations is one of the author's goals. The other is recruitment of volunteers for mental health assignments in disaster situations. His extensive compilation and review of literature serves to accomplish his first goal, while his vivid accounts of his efforts as a volunteer for the American Red Cross at disaster sites may well accomplish the second. Weaver has integrated sound principles of crisis intervention theory with practical tips for the disaster mental health volunteer (even including what to pack on assignment with the Red Cross). Style and content make this book a fine choice for additional reading in graduate or undergraduate crisis intervention courses. (p. 28)

            Richard F. Ponton, PhD

            Human Services Department

            Ocean Township, NJ