CERT Basic Training Unit 7 - Disaster Psychology

CERT Basic Training Unit 7 - Disaster Psychology

Disaster Psychology CERT Basic Training Unit 7 Unit Objectives Describe disaster and post-disaster emotional environment for survivors and rescuers Describe steps rescuers can take to relieve their own stress and that of other survivors CERT Basic Training Unit 7: Disaster Psychology

7-2 Unit Topics Disaster Trauma Team Well-Being Working with Survivors Trauma CERT Basic Training Unit 7: Disaster Psychology 7-3 Psychological Trauma Your own personal losses Working in your neighborhood

Assisting neighbors, friends, coworkers who have also been injured Not feeling safe and secure CERT Basic Training Unit 7: Disaster Psychology 7-4 Psychological Symptoms of Trauma Irritability or anger Self-blame or blaming others Isolation and withdrawal Fear of recurrence

Feeling stunned, numb, overwhelmed Feeling helpless Mood swings Sadness, depression, grief Denial Concentration and memory problems Relationship problems/marital discord CERT Basic Training Unit 7: Disaster Psychology

7-5 Physiological Symptoms of Trauma Loss of appetite Headaches or chest pain Diarrhea, stomach pain, or nausea

Hyperactivity Increase in drug consumption Nightmares Insomnia Fatigue CERT Basic Training Unit 7: Disaster Psychology 7-6 Team Well-Being Actions can be taken before, during, and after an incident to help manage emotional impact of disaster response work Knowing possible psychological and physiological symptoms of disaster trauma

helps manage impact Learn to manage stress CERT members for themselves CERT leaders during response CERT Basic Training Unit 7: Disaster Psychology 7-7 How You Reduce Stress

Get enough sleep Exercise regularly Eat a balanced diet Balance work, play, and rest Allow yourself to receive as well as give Connect with others Use spiritual resources CERT Basic Training Unit 7: Disaster Psychology 7-8 Take Care of Yourself

Be aware of trauma that can follow a disaster Explain to family members and friends what you need: Listen when you want to talk Dont force you to talk CERT Basic Training Unit 7: Disaster Psychology 7-9 How Team Leaders Reduce Stress

Brief CERT personnel beforehand Remember CERT is a team Rest and regroup Take breaks away Eat properly, stay hydrated Arrange for debriefing Rotate teams and duties Phase out workers gradually CERT Basic Training Unit 7: Disaster Psychology

7-10 Critical Incident Stress Debriefing 1. Introductions and description 2. Review of factual material 3. Sharing of initial thoughts and feelings 4. Sharing of emotional reactions to incident 5. Instruction about normal stress reactions 6. Review of symptoms 7. Closing and further needs assessment CERT Basic Training Unit 7: Disaster Psychology 7-11

Phases of a Crisis Impact Inventory Rescue Recovery CERT Basic Training Unit 7: Disaster Psychology 7-12

Traumatic Crisis Actual or potential death Serious injury Destruction Loss of contact with family or close friends CERT Basic Training Unit 7: Disaster Psychology 7-13

Effects of Traumatic Stress Cognitive functioning Physical health Interpersonal relationships CERT Basic Training Unit 7: Disaster Psychology 7-14 Mediating Factors

Prior experience with a similar event Intensity of disruption Individual feelings about event Emotional strength of individual Length of time since event CERT Basic Training Unit 7: Disaster Psychology 7-15 Stabilizing Survivors Assess survivors for injury or shock Get uninjured people to help

Provide support by: Listening Empathizing Help survivors connect with natural support systems CERT Basic Training Unit 7: Disaster Psychology 7-16 How to Be an Empathetic Listener

Put yourself in the speakers shoes Listen for meaning, not just words Pay attention to nonverbal communication Paraphrase the speaker CERT Basic Training Unit 7: Disaster Psychology 7-17 Avoid Saying

I understand Dont feel bad Youre strong or Youll get through this Dont cry Its Gods will It could be worse At least you still have Everything will be okay CERT Basic Training Unit 7: Disaster Psychology

7-18 Managing the Death Scene Cover the body; treat it with respect Move the body to temporary morgue Follow local laws and protocols Talk with local authorities CERT Basic Training Unit 7: Disaster Psychology

7-19 Informing Family/Friends of a Death Separate the family member(s) or friend(s) Have the person(s) sit down Make eye contact Im sorry, but your family member has died. I am so sorry. Let the family and friends grieve

CERT Basic Training Unit 7: Disaster Psychology 7-20 Unit Summary Rescues may be unpleasant or uncomfortable Psychological and physiological symptoms of trauma Take steps to reduce stress CISD is one intervention Four emotional phases of a disaster Stress affects cognition, health, and interactions Stabilize individuals Be an empathetic listener CERT Basic Training

Unit 7: Disaster Psychology 7-21 Homework Assignment 1. Read unit to be covered in next session 2. Bring necessary supplies to next session 3. Wear appropriate clothes to next session CERT Basic Training Unit 7: Disaster Psychology 7-22

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