In The News

IDMH in the Media:




You Can Get Through THis Dark Pandemic Winter, Using Tips From Disaster Psychology - Scientific American on Dec. 21, 2020

"Amy Nitza has spent decades helping people in crisis. The director of the Institute for Disaster Mental Health at the State University of New York at New Paltz has traveled to Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria, to Botswana during an HIV crisis and to Haiti to help traumatized children forced into domestic servitude."


Resilience in the Age of Devastating Storms - APA Monitor on Psychology on Nov. 1, 2020

“It was already difficult to know how to help people feel safe when in many parts of the world, the threat of these disasters has become the new normal. Now, we have that chronic threat layered on top of acute anxiety about the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Karla Vermeulen, PhD, deputy director at the Institute for Disaster Mental Health at the State University of New York at New Paltz (SUNY New Paltz)."


Mental Health Monday: Pandemic Fatigue & Election Stress - WJFF 90.5 fm on Oct. 27, 2020

"Cases of COVID-19 are on the rise as 'pandemic fatigue' sets in. Meanwhile, there’s this big election that’s also been going on forever. So, this is a great time for Dr. Amy Nitza, Director of the Institute for Disaster Mental Health at SUNY New Paltz to return for another Mental Health Monday! We cover pandemic fatigue and election anxiety. Plus, Dr. Amy admits to skipping NPR news some mornings, and we totally forgive her for it."


'There to pick up the pieces.' New Paltz institute offers post-disaster mental health help - Times Herald-Record on Oct. 12, 2020

"Houses, stores and offices can be rebuilt after a catastrophe such as an earthquake. Streets repaved. Schools reopened. But how does one stop disaster victims from quaking on the inside or shaking, literally, as they sob? And how can one help others understand what’s happening inside a traumatized person’s head – especially if it’s a child? SUNY New Paltz’s Institute for Disaster Mental Health is more in demand than ever these days..."


IDMH At SUNY New Paltz Director Is On The Ground At CA Wildfires - WAMC Northeast Public Radio on Oct. 6, 2020

"The director of the Institute for Disaster Mental Health at SUNY New Paltz is in California assisting the American Red Cross with wildfire recovery efforts. According to the Red Cross, wildfires in California have burned more than 4 million acres this year, destroying over 8,400 homes and other structures. Dr. Amy Nitza is in Fresno for a two-week deployment and spoke with WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne about what she’s experiencing."


How getting Covid-19 affected world leaders' pandemic response - Quartz on Oct. 2, 2020

"In the short term, recovering from a communicable disease could make a person feel guilty or angry for their own infection or others', and vulnerable around other people, says Karla Vermeulen, the deputy director of the Institute for Disaster Mental Health at SUNY New Paltz."


Hudson Valley woman volunteers with Red Cross to help people recover from natural disasters - News 12 Westchester on Oct. 1, 2020

"Dr. Amy Nitza is currently in Fresno, California responding to the creek wildfires. Along with being director of the Institute for Disaster Mental Health at SUNY New Paltz, she is also a Red Cross volunteer. Nitza has been there in the days following many tragedies by helping people mentally recover. “People need a sense of safety. They need a sense of calm…,” says Dr. Nitza. “They need to get back a sense of control, and they need hope.”


Listen: Mental Health Matters: Dr. Karla Vermeulen on the stress of the pandemic - WJFF 90.5 fm on Sept. 22, 2020

"Many psychologists are calling the anxiety, stress, and sadness of the COVID-19 pandemic a collective grief. Dr. Karla Vermeulen, Deputy Director of the Institute for Disaster Mental Health at SUNY New Paltz explains that grief can come from losing loved ones, but also from losing employment, stability, and security. So, if you’re feeling out of sorts you’re not alone. Dr. Vermeulen also discusses how the ‘endless now’ of this protracted crisis takes a toll, and the importance of accepting grief and forgetting 'closure.'"


At SUNY New Paltz, Students Help Other Students Manage Stress - WAMC Northeast Public Radio on Sept. 12, 2020

"As mental health issues mount during the COVID-19 pandemic, college students are among those facing lots of stress. A new initiative at SUNY New Paltz aims to outfit students with coping skills, with the help of their peers."


UAlbany online forum to focus on school safety in cyberspace - News10 ABC on Aug. 5, 2020

"The free and online series features SUNY experts, plus local primary and high school leaders and industry partners. The pandemic and school violence have both forced institutions to consider how to maintain safe learning environments amid unprecedented crises."


Mental Health Monday: What Children Need - WJFF 90.5 fm on July 21, 2020

"Whether children return to school in the fall or remain at home, disruptions to their routines in a time of crisis can cause stress. Dr. Amy Nitza of the Institute for Disaster Mental Health at SUNY New Paltz tells us that children need five things: a calm environment, connectedness, a feeling of hope and—above all—a sense of safety."


Mental Health Monday: Stress Inoculation - WJFF 90.5 fm on July 13, 2020

"We conclude our weeks-long exploration of “Stress Innoculation” with a synopsis of the tips and practices we’ve learned to help reduce both emotional and cognitive stressors. And Doctor Amy Nitza of the Institute for Disaster Mental Health at SUNY New Paltz shares this final takeaway: if you try any of these practices and find it helps, keep doing it until it becomes a good habit. (And if it doesn’t work, that’s okay – don’t stress!)"


Mental Health Monday: Personal Resilience - WJFF 90.5 fm on July 7, 2020

"It’s Monday and we have minds that need to be healthful, so…time for Mental Health Monday with Dr. Amy Nitza of the Institute for Disaster Mental Health at SUNY New Paltz. This week’s topic is Personal Resilience: Staying in the Green Zone. Managing stress relies on a healthy balance between the emotional and rational parts of the brain. Personal Resilience is all about being able to get to a place of physiological, emotional, and mental balance."


Mental Health Monday: Self-Talk & Paying Attention to What You Say to Yourself - WJFF 90.5 fm on June 23, 2020

"You better watch what you say…to yourself. On Mental Health Monday, we continue to work towards Stress Inoculation with Dr. Amy Nitza of the Institute for Disaster Mental Health at SUNY New Paltz. This week it’s “Self-Talk: Paying Attention to What You Say to Yourself.” Identifying those (mostly negative) automatic thoughts that pop into our heads."


Mental Health Monday: Name It To Tame It! with Dr. Amy Nitza - WJFF 90.5 fm on June 9, 2020

"Don’t drown in an amorphous nebula of dread and anxiety – Name It To Tame It! On this week’s “Mental Health Monday,” Dr. Amy Nitza of the Institute for Disaster Mental Health at SUNY New Paltz tells us to get specific about our stressors and by naming them, if not ending them, at least reduce them."


Student-made videos explain Disaster Mental Health concepts for all audiences - SUNY New Paltz News on May 26, 2020

"Students in the spring 2020 graduate-level course “Disaster Counseling and Crisis Intervention” capped their semester by creating a series of brief instructional videos about disaster mental health, as an adaptation and response to the new realities created by the COVID-19 pandemic."


As isolation drags on, people find new ways to cope - Times Herald-Record on May 17, 2020

"As we reach the two-month mark of New York’s COVID-19 shutdown, people are feeling the stress of self-isolation and worry. “Much of why it’s so stressful and anxiety-producing is the uncertainty around it and the unfamiliarity,” said Karla Vermeulen, deputy director of The Institute for Disaster Mental Health at SUNY New Paltz, where she’s also an associate professor of psychology."


Mental Health Monday: Tips on De-Stressing - WJFF 90.5 fm on May 15, 2020

"The Institute for Disaster Mental Health at SUNY New Paltz is very busy advising people on their mental health during the pandemic. Dr. Amy Nitza tells listeners that any self-care effort is better than none and shares some tips on de-stressing."


8 Ways to Get Through the Pandemic With Your Relationship Intact - ShareCare on May 14, 2020

"If you’ve been staying at home with your partner—and possibly your children—during these umpteen weeks of lockdown, it’s likely you’ve experienced strain. “This is a new situation for all of us that creates acute stress, but the stress is also chronic,” says Amy Nitza, PhD, director of the Institute for Disaster Mental Health at the State University of New York at New Paltz. “What’s different now is that we don’t know the end point.”


Metzger hosts community conversation on mental health - Mid Hudson News on May 13, 2020

"State Senator Jen Metzger (D, Rosendale) continued her series of webinars addressing issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic by tackling rising mental health concerns. Speaking on Facebook Live, Metzger was joined by Dr. Amy Nitza and Dr. Karla Vermeulen, director and deputy director of the Institute for Disaster Mental Health at SUNY New Paltz."


Congressman Antonio Delgado's Interview with Emeritus Professor James Halpern About COVID-19 - The Self Monitor on Apr. 23, 2020

"From Congressman Antonio Delgado: Last week, I hosted a conversation with Dr. James Halpern, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Counseling and Founding Director of the Institute for Disaster Mental Health at SUNY New Paltz. We discussed best practices for folks during this difficult time, the importance of establishing a routine, and prioritizing self-care and understanding for one another."


51% #1604: COVID-19 Psychological First Aid; Climate Music Interprets Sea Level Rise - WAMC Northeast Public Radio on Apr. 22, 2020

"The Institute for Disaster Mental Health at the State University of New York at New Paltz has put out a Psychological First Aid & Stress Management toolkit. The strategies are to help faculty, staff, students and others during the COVID-19 pandemic. I spoke with the director of the Institute, Dr. Amy Nitza."


Mental Health Matters - Managing Stress, Anxiety and Emotions During a Pandemic - SUNY Blog on Apr. 21, 2020

"Illness. Job loss. Isolation. In a world fraught with anxiety and uncertainty brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, people are seeking ways to manage their stress. The Institute for Disaster Mental Health (IDMH) at SUNY New Paltz is emerging as a vital resource for support and information during this time. Led by psychologists Amy Nitza and Karla Vermeulen, the IDMH is working to ensure the mental well-being of the campus and community, and beyond"


IDMH Director Discusses Psychological First Aid in COVID-19 Crisis - WAMC Northeast Public Radio on Apr. 7, 2020

"The Institute for Disaster Mental Health at SUNY New Paltz has put out a Psychological First Aid & Stress Management toolkit. The strategies are to help faculty, staff, students and others during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Amy Nitza is director of the Institute for Disaster Mental Health She says the toolkit, which appears as a 60-page PowerPoint presentation, is also in Spanish, with other languages to come."


Tips to Keep a Positive Attitude in the World of Coronavirus - The Weather Channel on Mar. 27, 2020

"Karla Vermeulen from the Institute for Disaster Mental Health at SUNY New Paltz gives some tips for keeping a positive attitude about the coronavirus and social distancing."


SUNY institute offers training to cope with coronavirus stress and disruption - Hudson Valley One on Mar. 25, 2020

"Though it may now feel like a lifetime, it was only six weeks ago that we profiled Dr. Amy Nitza, director of the Institute for Disaster Mental Health at SUNY New Paltz. At the time, the psychotherapist was about to head off to Puerto Rico to “train the trainers” to help local people deal with the emotional stress precipitated by an earthquake, following the previous devastation of Hurricane Maria. Now Dr. Nitza must attend to a disaster that’s hitting right at home: the COVID-19 pandemic."


UNICEF USA and SUNY New Paltz to Train Mental Health Professionals from Puerto Rico's Department of Education in Trauma Management - UNICEF USA on Feb. 26, 2020

"In response to the earthquakes that struck Puerto Rico in January, as well as the effects of Hurricane Maria, UNICEF USA is partnering with SUNY (State University of New York) New Paltz to provide training for psychologists, social workers and professional counselors within Puerto Rico’s Department of Education (DoE) to address trauma from natural disasters in classrooms across the country."


Treating the trauma caused by natural disasters - Hudson Valley One on Feb. 11, 2020

"Officially titled the Empire State Relief and Recovery Effort for Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands and more colloquially known as New York Stands with Puerto Rico, the state’s recovery assistance program was launched shortly after Hurricane Maria’s landfall in September 2017. Since May 2018, SUNY and CUNY student volunteers have deployed to Puerto Rico on a regular basis to clean, restore and rebuild homes with not-for-profit partners."


Director of the Institute for Disaster Management in the Mental Health Area of SUNY visits the campus to provide training - University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus on Feb. 3, 2020

"A group of mental health experts from the State University of New York (SUNY) recently visited the Río Piedras Campus of the University of Puerto Rico (RRP-UPR) to train 50 people, among whom are teachers and students from the campus , in the field of crisis and trauma management during catastrophic events."


In the wake of Puerto Rico earthquakes, New Paltz faculty provides mental health, trauma training - The Poughkeepsie Journal on Jan. 27, 2020

"In the aftermath of devastating earthquakes that hit Puerto Rico in the past month, which came as the island continues to deal with the aftermath of a hurricane more than two years ago, SUNY New Paltz staff is in Puerto Rico to train others in dealing with trauma."





SUNY focus on military members and the classroom - WNYT on Nov. 06, 2019

"Amanda Matteson is a doctoral student in the School of Social Welfare at the University at Albany. While in the New York Army National Guard (‘05-’11) she was deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom (’08-’09). She is part of a two-day conference at the SUNY Administration building for veterans coordinators, educators and student vets representing more than 50 campuses sharing best practices for meeting the unique needs of college veterans."


Recovery from tragedy could take years, experts warn educators - The Daily Gazette on Aug. 17, 2019

"Tragedies like the death of a student or teacher, and especially mass violence, can take a school community years to recover from, a panel of experts warned educators last week. Mental health experts involved in responding to mass casualty events, natural disasters and other crises during a conference hosted by the University at Albany last week shared insights with educators into the long recovery process."


Disaster Practicum caps spring semester with on-site recovery work in Texas floodplain - New Paltz News on June 13, 2019

"After two weeks spent working long days replacing flooring and removing moldy drywall, Joseph Foster ’19 (Sociology) passed his last day in Coastal Bend, Texas, taking pictures and saying goodbye to some of the people he met there. “I wanted to take photos at all of the sites, because no one else was really documenting it,” Foster said. “We were trying to help them rebuild their homes and rebuild their lives. We don’t want to leave them behind.”


SUNY Conference June 7 Focuses on Disaster Response - Daily Freeman on May 30, 2019

"The Institute for Disaster Mental Health at SUNY New Paltz invites members of the education and disaster response communities to its 16th annual conference, with workshops and keynote addresses devoted to the conference theme, “Supporting Children after Trauma and Disaster: Protecting New York’s Future” on Friday, June 7."


We Need To Talk About Survivor's Guilt - The Huffington Post on Mar. 27, 2019

"Survivor’s guilt is not an unusual reaction among those who have experienced a traumatic event. “Many survivors experience some aspect of survivor’s guilt or find themselves struggling with these questions. However, there is a range of severity of these reactions,” said Amy Nitza, director of the Institute for Disaster Mental Health at the State University of New York in New Paltz."


Calvin Desir: Second Parkland Student to Die by Suicide Identified - Heavy on Mar. 26, 2019

"Calvin Desir was named as the second Parkland shooting survivor to die by apparent suicide within one week. He died on the night of Saturday, March 23. Sydney Aiello, 19, took her own life a week before... The Cut spoke to Nitza in light of the three recent deaths. "


What Happens to the Mental Health of School-Shooting Survivors? - The Cut on Mar. 26, 2019

"In the past two weeks, we have witnessed how the devastating after-effects of a school shooting can reverberate long after the immediate trauma. In the past week, two survivors of the Parkland massacre of 2018 both died in apparent suicides."


From Parkland to Sandy Hook, Trauma of School Shootings Haunt Survivors for Decades - The Daily Beast on Mar. 25, 2019

"The suicides of three people connected to school shootings in the last week is bringing renewed attention to the long-term effects of such trauma—from survivor’s guilt to posttraumatic stress disorder." 


Colleges work to do more for veterans on campus - Newsday on Feb. 15, 2019

"Veterans who go to college face a host of challenges, including professors who aren't familiar with military culture and administrators who don't appreciate the difculties of returning to civilian life, career and education ofcials said at a symposium Friday. Dozens of faculty members and administrators from across Long Island came together at Nassau Community College to explore what colleges and universities can do to better serve the veterans in their classrooms."





Schoharie Deaths Could Take Traumatic Toll For Families, Responders - WAMC Northeast Public Radio on Oct. 13, 2018

"It has been one week since the limosuine crash in Schoharie County that killed 20 people, shattering the quiet peace of a small community and forever changing the lives of the friends and families of those who died and the rst responders who were called out to the horric scene. As the funerals are under way, and the investigations continue, WAMC's Brian Shields spoke with an expert in grief counseling and disaster mental health about the human toll of the event."


SUNY New Paltz Students Discuss Trip to Puerto Rico - WAMC Northeast Public Radio on Aug. 10, 2018

"Some students from the State University of New York at New Paltz travelled with a New York delegation to Puerto Rico in July for two weeks. They were there to rebuild homes following Hurricanes Maria and Irma nearly a year ago. The trip was part of the “New York Stands with Puerto Rico Recovery and Rebuilding Initiative.” WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne spoke with a few of the students who lent a hand."


Meet the Poughkeepsie student who repaired homes in Puerto Rico - Poughkeepsie Journal on Aug. 6, 2018

"Amena-Devine Ruffin had never picked up a power tool. She doesn’t speak Spanish. She has a fear of heights. But for two weeks in July, the 21-year-old Poughkeepsie resident used those tools, stood on top of buildings and learned to navigate a language barrier, as she helped repair three homes in Puerto Rico."


New York Helps Puerto Rico Recover From Hurricane Maria - U.S. News on May 29, 2018

"It's not a U.S. government effort, or even a project of the cash-strapped Puerto Rican government. The renovation and rebuilding comes courtesy of a volunteer project organized by New York state, which has undertaken what participants and island locals describe as an extraordinary effort by a single state government and populace to help the American territory."


Dutchess Agency Offers Pdychological First Aid Courses March 22 - The Daily Freeman on Mar. 15, 2018

"The Medical Reserve Corps of Dutchess County will offer two free psychological first aid training sessions on Thursday, March 22. Sessions will be offered at 3 p.m. and at 7 p.m. at the Dutchess County Department of Emergency Response, 392 Creek Road."





Floods and fires make Americans rethink their love affair with stuff - The Washington Post on Oct. 25, 2017

"Amy Nitza, director of the Institute for Disaster Mental Health at SUNY New Paltz, says losing everything in a disaster usually becomes a defining bench mark in someone’s life. “It can cause a reappraisal of what life is about,” she says. The recent spate of hurricanes, earthquakes and fires means that “people, for good or bad, are having vicarious reactions to what they are seeing.”


SUNY New Paltz Part of Collaborative Effort in Haiti - The Daily Freeman on Sept. 26, 2017

"The State University of New York has announced a statewide collaboration involving SUNY New Paltz, nine other SUNY campuses and five not-for-profit organizations to establish a sustainable village and learning community in Akayè, Haiti."


Social Work Part of Statewide Collaboration to Build Sustainable Village in Haiti - UBNow on Sept. 25, 2017

"Faculty members from UB’s School of Social Work (UB SSW) will join colleagues from 10 SUNY campuses in various disciplines and five not-forprofit organizations to work on an innovative project to create a sustainable village and learning community in the town of Arcahaie, Haiti."


Editorial: Kudos to Those Who Have Heart - Times Herald Record on Sept. 11, 2017

"Cheers: To the Institute of Disaster Mental Health at SUNY New Paltz. Director Amy Nitza and Rebecca Rodriguez, the program and operations manager, will be leading 20 students from the institute to Texas over the college's winter break, from Dec. 21 to Jan. 23, to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey"


SUNY New Paltz Trains Students to Offer Public Mental Health Aid in Disasters - Times Herald Record on Sept. 4, 2017

"Amy Nitza trains others to handle things she hopes don't happen but knows will, sooner or later, come anyway. Disasters are like that, like Hurricane and Tropical Storm Harvey that poured historic rainfall onto Texas. Helping in such catast


Newtown: Examining Loss Through a New Lens - The New Paltz Oracle on Mar. 9, 2017

"Newtown is a chilling documentary that examines the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, chanigning the small Connecticut town forever after the events of Dec. 14, 2012"


Panel Discussion to Follow SUNY New Paltz Screening of Newtown - The Newtown Bee on Mar. 4, 2017

"Filmed over the course of three years and directed by award-winning filmmaker Kim A. Snyder, Newtown documents the aftermath of the December 14, 2012 attack on Sandy Hook Elementary School. The film explores what happens to a community after it becomes the epicenter of a national discussion, and what is still left to cope with after the cameras leave."


Documentary Screening of Newtown at SUNY New Paltz - Chronogram on Feb. 28, 2017

"December 14, 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. This is the deadliest mass shooting of schoolchildren in American history. “Newtown” is a documentary filmed over the course of three years by award-winning filmmaker Kim A. Snyder, to show the aftermath of such a massive attack."


Newtown Documentary will be Shown at SUNY New Paltz, March 7th, 2017 - The Daily Freeman on Feb. 24, 2017

"Filmed over the course of three years and directed by awardwinning filmmaker Kim A. Snyder, “Newtown” documents the aftermath of the Dec. 14, 2012, attack on Sandy Hook Elementary School, and explores what happens to a community after it becomes the epicenter of a national discussion, and what is left to cope with after the cameras leave." 





Disaster Mental Health Conference Focuses on Mass Transportation - WAMC Northeast Public Radio on Apr. 14, 2016

"The Insititue for Disaster Mental Health at SUNY New Paltz is holding its annual conference Friday. This year's focus is on respoinding to mass transportation disasters. The conference at the State University of New York at New Paltz will address the complex emergency response and mental health challenges generated by mass transportation disasters, including aviation, train and bus crashes."





SUNY New Paltz Students Study Disaster Preparedness in Israel - WAMC Northeast Public Radio on Jan. 25, 2015

"Students have returned to their New Paltz campus after participating in a workshop in disaster preparedness in Israel. State University of New York at New Paltz graduate students were brought together with their Israeli counterparts earlier in January during a weeklong workshop in crisis counseling and psychological first aid."





Psychological First Aid is Practiced in the Middle East - WAMC Northeast Public Radio on Aug. 5, 2014

"Trauma experts from the Institute for Disaster Mental Health at SUNY New Paltz recently returned from their second trip to the Middle East. They directed workshops for Palestinians and Israelis. The work was in crisis counseling and psychological first aid. WAMC's Hudson Valley Bureau Cheif Allison Dunne spke with institute director Dr. James Halpern." 


Boston Bomb Attack Triggered PTSD in Local Kids, Study Finds - NBC News on June 3, 2014

"A little more than a year after the Boston Marathon bombings and the five-day manhunt that terrorized Watertown neighborhoods, the impact of the ordeal on local children and teens may have been more far-reaching than anyone suspected. About 11 percent of kids surveyed who were at the marathon finish line suffered from posttraumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, according to research conducted within the six months after the bombings, trauma experts say."


SUNY New Paltz Institute Director Provides Support at 9/11 Museum - WAMC Northeast Public Radio on May 15, 2014

"The director of the Institute for Disaster Mental Health in New Paltz is helping to provide emotional support for families and first repsonders who visit the 9/11 Memorail Museum at the World Trade Center site. Dr. James Halpern, director of the Institute for Disaster Mental Health at the State University of New York at New Paltz, is joining Red Cross mental health volunteers to assist with providing emotional support for families, survivors, first responders, and visitors touring the 9/11 Memorial Museum in New York City until May 21." 


Piers Morgan Live: "The emotion of the Landslide and FLT 370 - CNN on Mar. 25, 2014

"Psychology Professor James Halpern offers insight on the emotional toll for those families in the landslide and on Malaysia Airlines Flight 370."


Dealing with the Grief in the Media Spotlight - CCTV News America on Mar. 25, 2014

"The relatives and loved ones of those on board Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 are overcome with emotion. They have dealt with anger, fear, and flat out sadness. CCTV is joined by James Halpern, an experienced grief counselor who has responded in the wake of disasters including the shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school here in the United States."


Text Message to Passenger Families a 'Secondary Trauma', Gried Experts Say - NBC News on Mar. 24, 2014

"Since the disapperance of a Malaysia Airlines jet more thjan two weeks ago, passengers' relatives - and much of the planet - have been gripped by uncertainty about the date of those abroad, whipsawed by conflicting reports and speculation. On Monday, some recieved stunning news via text message: Malaysia Airlines told the relatives that the palne "has been lost and that none of those on board have survived."


Teaching Through the Trauma - The New Paltz Oracle on Jan. 30, 2014

"A few weeks ago, a team of trauma experts including alumni and mental health counseling graduate student Rebecca Rodriguez traveled to Israel as part of the Institute for Disaster Mental Health at SUNY New Paltz. Rodriguez began her time at New Paltz as a psychology major and a disaster studies minor. As a graduate student she works as part of the mental health counseling program."


SUNY New Paltz Group Teaches in Israel - Times Herald-Record on Jan. 20, 2014

"The conditions that made Rebecca Rodriguez's trip to Israel necessary also made it all the more remarkable. Rodriguez traveled to Israel a couple of weeks ago as part of a team of trauma experts, including members of the Institute for Disaster Mental Health at SUNY New Paltz. There, in a land where politiccal, psychological and physical trauma is as common as the desert heat, she met decidedly uncommon conditions: in training sessions that put Israeli and Palestinian mental health professionals in the same room with each other."





Crisis Counseling After a Disaster: Does Anything Really Help? - NBC News on Dec. 14, 2013

"In the first two weeks after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings last year, more than 800 anguished people streamed through the main crisis counseling center in Newtown, Conn. Since then, visits to the Newtown Youth and Family Services agency have nearly doubled, and the center has tripled in size to handle the aftermath of horror and heartbreak following the massacre that left 26 peopl, mostly children, dead." 


Is Disaster Mental Health Helpful? Resivisting the Response to Sandy Hook - Huffington Post on Dec. 4, 2013

"We were sitting across from each other in the Family Assistance Center, near the Sandy Hook Elementary School, where one day earlier, 20 children and 6 of their teachers had been murdered. One mother, in shock and disbelief, asked me simply: "How could this happen to my 6-year-old child?" This was not a question; it was a cry of anguish, a searing lament from deep within this young, grieving woman. How to respond?"


Veteran Reporter and Mental Health Expert Discuss Train Derailment - WAMC Northeast Public Radio on Dec. 2, 2013

"Federal investigators have recovered a seond data recorder at the crash site of Sunday's Metro-North commuter tain derailment in the Bronx. While the public awaits answers about what caused the fatal derailment, a few experts are weighing in about other aspects of the disaster."


Mental Health Counselors Recieve Training to Help Military Families - WAMC Northeast Public Radio on Oct. 11, 2013

"A specialized training session for therapists who assist military service people and their families is taking place Friday at the State University of New York at New Paltz. Among he topics is military sexual assault."


Residents Experience a Familiar Fear After Navy Yard Shooting - The Poughkeepsie Journal on Sept. 17, 2013

"In the wake of another mas sshooting in the United States - the fourth in a little more than a year - the wear-and-tear on emotions has some people on edge.... Karla Vermeulen, deputy director for the State University of New York at the New Paltz Institute for Disaster Mental Health, said that some people have an "understandable" case of "disaster fatigue", especially on the heels of the recent Sept. 11 anniversary."


Dealing with Planned Disasters - New Paltz Times on June 27, 2013

"The Institute for Disaster Mental Health (IDMH) at SUNY New Paltz is collaborating with the center for Deployment Psychology to host a two-day training in prolonged exposure therapy this week on the SUNY New Paltz campus." 


Mental Health Providers to Gain Skills to Help Veterans - WAMC Northeast Public Radio on June 26, 2013

"There is a two-day program at SUNY New Paltz to train mental health providers to assist veterans and their families. The Institute for Disaster Mental Health at the State University of New Oyrk at New Paltz is hosting a training program Wednesday and Thursday, collaborating for the first time with the Maryland-based Center for Delpyment Psychology."


Disaster Mental Health Conference Focuses on Radiological Readiness - WAMC Northeast Public Radio on Apr. 18, 2013 

"There's a conference tomorrow in New York that will ofcus on preparedness for nuclear disasters and other radiation emergencies. I's an opportunity to thiunk about and plan for some worst-case scenarios. It's the Institute for Disaster Mental Health's 10th annual conference, and this year's topic is "Radiological Readiness: Preparing for Dirty Bombs, Nuclear Disasters, and Other Radiation Emergencies." Dr. James Halpern is the director of the Institute at the State University of New York at New Paltz."


Interview with Dr. James Halpern: Disaster Mental Health Institute Director - WAMC Northeast Public Radio on Jan. 8, 2013

"James Halpern went to Newtown, Connecticut the day after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings. He went for one week, as a volunteer with the Mid-Hudson Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross, to provide counseling to immediate family members of the victims, as well as to community members. The Red Cross counseling is short-term, and those who needed more assistance were referred to community resources."





SUNY New Paltz Trauma Expert Counseled Newtown Families - Times Herald-Record on Dec. 31, 2012

"Like everyone else who learned about the shooting of 20 young children and their six adult defenders in Newtown Conn., James Halpern was horrified. Unlike almost everyone else, Halpern got a call after the shooting from the national American Red Cross, a call that sent him into the grief-filled center of what had once been and would no longer be quiet, bucolic American town."


Local Red Cross Deploys to Newtown, CT - American Red Cross on Dec. 19, 2012

"The American Red Cross Mid-Hudson Valley Chapter deployed a volunteer to Newtown, CT this week to assist with Red Cross support efforts following the tragic school shooting on Friday. Dr. James Halpern (of New Paltz), who is a Professor of Psychology and Counseling at SUNY New Paltz and Director of the College's Institute of Disaster Mental Health (IDMH), dispatched to Newtown on Saturday, December 15."


Red Cross Shelter Set Up During Sandy - The New Paltz Oracle on Nov. 15, 2012

"The Athletic and Wellness Center and the Red Cross set up a shelter in Elting Gym for th New Paltz community and residents during Superstorm Sandy. The shelter housed 11 residents on Monfay, Oct. 29. The shelter was set up due to the predicition of heavy winds and rain that threatened to cause power outages, flooding, and other damages."


IDMH Conference Will Address Needs of Trauma Workers - The New Paltz Oracle on Mar. 29, 2012

"On Friday, April 20, SUNY New Paltz will host the ninth annual Institute for Disaster Mental Health (IDMH) conference. This year's conference is geared toward menntal health professionals, students, emergency managers and vounteer responders, focusing on those who are traumatized by repsonding to disasters, IDMH Coordinator Meredith Johnson said."


Psychoeducational Material to be Dispersed - The New Paltz Oracle on Mar. 1, 2012

"The Institute for Disaster Mental Health (IDMH) at SUNY New Paltz is collaborating with health organizations and professionals in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, to "address meantal health needs of Israeli and Palestinian families" through a program call Families First."


Professor assists in Newtown, Conn. - News Pulse on Jan. 14, 2012

"Professor James Halpern (Psychology) was deployed by the American Red Cross Mid-Hudson Valley Chapter to volunteer in Newtown, Conn., in the weeks following the tragic school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. "





How 9/11 Memorials Break Isolation, Offer Comfort - Health News Daily on Sept. 10, 2011

"Perhaps more than anything, communal events offer us a script of sorts to guide our response to a disaster as unprecedented as 9/11, said Karla Vermeulen, deputy director of the Institute for Disaster Mental Health at State University of New York, New Paltz. Even so, not everyone's emotions will follow the same timeline on that script, she said."


Colleges Now Offering Education in Disaster - The New York Times on June 9, 2011

"Carlene Pinto watched from her middle-school classroom in Brooklyn as the plane pierced the second tower; then she trudged the three miles home as paperwork and dust rained from the sky. Rebecca Rodriguez felt helpless as a teenager watching Hurricane Katrina unfold on television. And Lindsay Yates still shudders at the recollection of Hurricane Fran, which killed two dozen people in her native North Carolina when she was a second grader. Now in their early 20s, these women might be members of a support group for those brushed by trauma at a tender age. Instead, they spent the spring term studying disaster mental health at the State University of New York campus here."


Lessons from 9/11 reviewed at event at SUNY New Paltz - Times Herald-Record on Apr. 8, 2011

"Bruce Springsteen's bruised but muscular voice sounded the keynote a the opening of a conference about the lessons learned from 9/11 at SUNY New Paltz Thursday. The two-day conference was sponsored by the Institute for Disaster Mental Health at SUNY New Paltz."


IDMH Conference Explored Ties Between Disasters, Mental Health - WAMC Northeast Public Radio on Apr. 11, 2011

"The ten-year anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks is less than five months away, but at a recent conference in the Hudson Valley, the focus was on the past, presetn, and future impacts of the tragedy. WAMC's Greg Fry has more on a conference that had little to do with national security, and everything to do with the mental health side of disasters..."


SUNY Panel Discusses Effects of Crisis on Japan, World at Large - Times Herald-Record on Mar. 18, 2011

"Words of concern and of reassurance were mixed with images of suffering and hope at a panel discussion of the impact of the earthquake and tsunami on Japan's people, its instiutions and its connections to the global community."


SUNY Educator Helps Find Ways to Ease Nuke-Scare Panic - Times Herald-Record on Mar. 17, 2011

 "The world has been confronted bt a nuclear nightmare in Japan that Karla Vermeulen has been thinking and writing about for thbe past year. Vermeulen is the Deputy Director for the Institute for Disaster Mental Health at SUNY New Paltz. She's written a training course the state Health Department will soon be offering to hospital staff, social workers, clergy and any professionals likely to be part of any effort to deal with what's become known as a "radiological event." 





Mid-Hudson Residents Remeber Helping out After Katrina - Poughkeepsie Journal on Aug. 27, 2010

"Five students from SUNY New Paltz taking a disaster psychology course at the Institute for Disaster Mental Health went to New Orleans in late December 2005 to help deliver food and supplies. Institute Director James Halpern was initially concerned the 20-year-olds might be overwhelmed. "They were very well trained and well prepared, but they were young," he said, "and we were putting them in a difficult place." Halpern was with them for a period of time and found them to be "amazing." "They had energy and enthusiasm and idealism and a level of competence that was extraordinary," he said."





My View: The Traumatic Impact of the WTC Attack and Misappraisal of Risk - Times Herald-Record on Sept. 25, 2009

"Eight years later, we know that our collective appraisal of risk following the 9/11 attacks was a failure. Right after we were hit at the World Trade Center, many New Yorkers felt frightened while riding the subways, traveling on airplanes, crossing bridges, even entering public places or tall buildings. Yet in reality we were much safer than we felt. We were bracing for what seemed to be certain attack. Instead, we should have been more concerned about the air at the WTC site and the call to war. These were and continue to be the real sources of danger and psychological trauma that we faced."


Crisis Response gets 'Savvier' at SUNY New Paltz - Times Herald-Record on February 9, 2009 

"James Halpern remembers the worst-case scenario the Red Cross had ever devised for training professional mental-health volunteers such as himself for disaster relief nearly a decade ago. The scenario imagined the simultaneous crash of two passenger jets in Queens. After the taining was over, the organizers came in for some heat. A pair of plane crashes in the metropolitan region? "We thought it was beyond what was posible," Halpern recalled last week."




Caring for Veteran's Mental Health - Times Herald-Record on Apr. 12, 2008

“If everybody comes home tomorrow,” said Frederick Bush of the Upstate Veterans Affairs Health Care Network, “and comes to the VA on Monday, we’re probably going to have some longer than normal wait times.” Bush was kidding the standing-room-only crowd at an annual conference of the Institute for Disaster Mental Health at SUNY New Paltz."





9/11 Call of Duty - News Pulse on Oct. 8, 2007

"Second-year graduate students in the Psychology Department's Mental Health Counseling program volunteered with the American Red Cross as disaster mental health volunteers on Sept. 11 at a memorial ceremony at Ground Zero. The students traveled to New York City with James Halpern (Psychology), director of the Institute for Disaster Mental Health."




SUNY Program Studies Effect of Disasters - Poughkeepsie Journal on September 10, 2006

"Audrey Sheridan's brother is a firefighter who made his first run with the New York Fire Department on Sept. 11, 2001. Zak Joyce spent two weeks handing out hot meals to thousands of New Orleans residents a few months after Hurricane Katrina hit. They represent two ends of a program at the State University of New York at New Paltz. The disaster studies minor is part of the school's Institute for Disaster Mental Health. The program is entering its third year and focuses on how natural or man-made disasters affect individuals, communities, organizations and the nation."


Mercy Mission Completed - Times Herald-Record on Jan. 20, 2006

"Every night, I find myself sitting here in front of a journal full of blank, white pages, searching for words to describe the widespread devastation that I have seen. The images portrayed in the media over the last four months do not serve justice to the destruction I have witnessed. Homes abandoned. Water lines. Warped furniture. Piles of Sheetrock. Black mold. Blue-tarped roofs. Tent cities. Cars lining the streets. Desolation. Apocalyptic. Ghost towns. Lost souls. Faith enduring."


SUNY Students Learn Lessons from Survivors - Times Herald-Record on Jan. 13, 2006

"After a 13-day deployment with the Red Cross in New Orleans, I lay in my bed exhausted and stirred by my experiences. My work has allowed me to speak intimately with clients, and gain an understanding of their situation. Connections grew out of what my professor, Dr. James Halpern, spoke of in class as "meeting the client where the client is," which involves empathetic listening and honest presence in the moment. One client, an elderly lady, stands out from the rest as a true example of this concept in motion."


No Words to Describe New Orleans - Times Herald-Record on Jan. 10, 2006

"My mom called me after my first day of work as an American Red Cross volunteer, and the first question she asked was, "What did it look like?" I tried to explain to her that there are no words to describe what I saw, but she could not understand. I tried to draw a picture in her mind with words, but after explaining what I saw, I realized that the only way you can understand is to see the disaster with your own eyes."


SUNY Students Learn Real Life Lessons as Katrina Volunteers - American Red Cross on Feb. 28, 2006

"Last semester, they studies textbook disasters. Over their winter break, they helped feed and comfort disaster victims. Five psychology students from the State University of New York at New Paltz recently spent two weeks working as American Red Cross volunteers with the Hurricane Katrina relief effoty in New Orleans."





It Was Bad News - USA Today on Dec. 28, 2005

"There are larger and larger portions of the population being exposed to harsh weather," says James Halpern, director of the Institute for Disaster Mental Health at the State University of New York-New Paltz. "While there is a huge denial on the part of folks living in these areas, reality is getting harder to ignore."


SUNY Students Learn Disaster Relief - Daily Freeman on Sept. 18, 2005

"As relief agencies across the country are scrambling to train people to respond to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, SUNY New Paltz is starting a program that will bolster the ranks of ready-to-go volunteers."



Please direct any questions or inquiries for trainings & interviews to the IDMH Graduate Student 
Assistant at or (845)-257-3477