Trauma and Disaster Mental Health

 

 

 

The Institute for Disaster Mental Health offers an Advanced Certificate program in Trauma and Disaster Mental Health, drawing on the Institute’s expertise to prepare a new generation of educators, counselors, social workers and care providers with culturally sensitive and evidence-supported disaster response skills and knowledge.

 

What is Disaster Mental Health?

Disasters are an increasing reality of 21st century life. They often take a severe psychological toll, shaking communities and impacting individuals’ ability to function. The emerging field of trauma mental health recognizes that advance preparation, early intervention, and innovative follow-up techniques can make all the difference for those whose lives are touched by disaster.


A Flexible Online Program

This 15-credit sequence consists of three core courses in assessment and trauma treatment, and two electives that allow students to focus on communities of interest, including veterans and the bereaved. Classes can be completed fully online, with the exception of just one summer weekend on the New Paltz campus, during which students practice their skills in deployment simulations.


IDMH: A One-of-a-Kind Resource

The Institute for Disaster Mental Health at SUNY New Paltz was founded in 2004 and has become a national leader, helping prepare students and professionals to provide evidence-based mental health interventions when communities experience traumatic events. The IDMH faculty and external partners bring decades of disaster response experience and expertise to their work and their teaching.


Differentiate Yourself with a Unique Credential

This NYS Board of Education-approved Advanced Certificate is ideal for students and professionals looking to stand out in their fields and workplaces. Disaster planning and response are rising concerns for schools, care facilities, spiritual centers, governments and many other organizations in the Hudson Valley and beyond. Graduates of this program are well-positioned to lead these efforts.



PROGRAM INFORMATION

Karla Vermeulen, Program Director 

vermeulk@newpaltz.edu or 845-257-2333


ADMISSION INFORMATION

Alana Matuszewski, Manager of Graduate Recruiting and Advising

gradstudies@newpaltz.edu or 845-257-3285

 

CURRICULUM REQUIREMENTS (15 Credits)

Required Courses (9 Credits)

Disaster Counseling and Crisis Intervention 1 ............................................3

Theory and research in disaster mental health are studied and activities of disaster counseling are practiced, including American Red Cross trainings that will allow students to be deployed to disasters. Note that this course is a Summer Hybrid involving six weeks online and one weekend at the SUNY New Paltz campus.

Evidence-Based Assessment & Treatment of Traumatic Stress 2 .........................3

Understanding, assessing and treating traumatic stress and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), including the nature and impact of trauma, risk and protective factors, assessing post-traumatic effects, early intervention and PTSD prevention strategies, an overview of cognitive-behavioral treatments, and cross-cultural perspectives. Online, delivered every spring semester.

Assessment and Interventions with Children, Adolescents and Families 3 .................3

The social-emotional and developmental needs of children make them a special population that necessitates specialized training for individuals who will work with children and families. This course will train students to assist child survivors and their caregivers following disasters and traumatic events, especially those events that cause the sudden death of a parent or other loved one. Online, delivered every summer. 


Electives (6 Credits) Select two of the following:

Assisting Veterans and First Responders 4 ..............................................3

This online course will prepare clinicians to engage and treat military personnel and first responders and their families, examining the unique cultural and clinical considerations affecting these populations and using theory and research to identify appropriate treatment modalities. Online, delivered alternate spring semesters.

Assisting Vulnerable Populations 4 ......................................................3

Understanding the needs of individuals and groups considered vulnerable prior to, during and after a disaster. Learning to assess needs, understanding the systems already in place, knowing how to access appropriate supports and structures, and an overview of factors that may assist in mitigating the effects of disasters. Online, delivered alternate spring semesters.

Grief, Loss and Bereavement 2 .........................................................3

Understanding and treating reactions to death and loss, especially due to disaster. Topics include attachment, typical and extreme reactions, models of adjustment, death rituals, and grief counseling and other evidence-informed interventions for survivors. Online, delivered every fall semester.


1 Summer hybrid - six weeks online plus one weekend on the New Paltz campus.


2 Online - every fall semester


3 Online - every summer


4 Online - alternate spring semesters