- See Presentation Slides for a list of terrific resources!
- Disaster Behavioral Health Curriculum Guidance by the Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress, Uniformed Services University
- Congratulations by the way – Some Thoughts on Kindness – by George Saunders – Reviewed by Brian Flynn
Behavioral health leaders are faced with a confluence of mental health disasters – the COVID-19 pandemic, other natural disasters like hurricanes, an economic crisis, civil and cultural turmoil – all producing a range of effects and challenging our values and ability to respond. Disaster mental health principles tell us that:
- Everyone is impacted in some way, but the impact varies
- It is not only about diagnosing disorders
- There is a behavioral health role in all phases of the disaster (preparedness, response, and recovery), and
- Leadership matters.
Typically, in our healthcare profession, we focus on diagnosing and treating disorders, which make up a great deal of the morbidity and mortality in this and other disasters. However, before diagnosis occurs during a mental health disaster, the public will experience things like distress reactions and engagement in risky behaviors. These will show up in places like the emergency department or primary care setting, via law enforcement interactions, and at home or at work. All segments of society are impacted by the significant social and economic cost, creating a significant public behavioral health burden, and underscoring the important role of public behavioral health leadership.
- Understand the role of the public behavioral health system during COVID-19 as it relates to patient care, workplace, and partnerships.
- Understand the role of the public behavioral health authority during COVID-19 as it relates to leadership, advice and advocacy, reducing barriers to care, and communication.
- Review future emerging issues related to the ongoing nature of the pandemic.
Dr. Joshua C. Morganstein, MD, is Associate Professor and Assistant Chair in the Department of Psychiatry and Assistant Director at the Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress (CSTS) in the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and a Captain in the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service. He is a Chair of the Committee on the Psychiatric Dimensions of Disaster and Distinguished Fellow at the American Psychiatric Association. Dr. Morganstein received his medical degree from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. He completed a combined residency in Psychiatry and Family Medicine in the National Capital Consortium in Washington, DC. Dr. Morganstein leads the Disaster Mental Health and Public Health education and consultation services at the Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress. In this capacity he has been an invited speaker and consultant for national organizations and federal interagency partners.
Dr. Morganstein provided mental health subject-matter expertise to the United Nations’ 2015 Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. He co-authored the first Curriculum Recommendations for Disaster Behavioral Health Professionals and was a co-author for a landmark Presidential report on the Impact of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States. Dr. Morganstein authored numerous articles, chapters, and technical reports on the mental health impact of various disaster events, including climate-related disasters, mass violence, terrorism, pandemics, and nuclear exposure. He is Assistant Editor for the second edition of the Textbook of Disaster Psychiatry. Dr. Morganstein has studied the effects of stress and trauma in organizational settings, including recent work with military drone intelligence community, personnel impacted by the 2013 mass shootings at the Washington Navy Yard, and is currently working with the United States National Guard to better understand risk and protective factors associated of COVID-19 deployments on the psychological health and operational readiness of service members.
Brian W.Flynn, EdD is Associate Director of Health Systems in the Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress, Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, Uniformed Services University. A major focus of his work is consulting, writing, training, and speaking on the topics of preparation for, response to, and recovery from, the psychosocial aspects of large-scale emergencies and disasters. In addition, he provides CSTS leadership in the areas of behavioral health policy and systems development and integration. Prior to joining USU, he served as a Rear Admiral/Assistant Surgeon General in the United States Public Health Service (USPHS). He has directly operated, and supervised the operation of, the Federal Government’s domestic disaster mental health program (including terrorism), programs in suicide and youth violence prevention, child trauma, refugee mental health, women’s and minority mental health concerns, and rural mental health.
Dr. Flynn has served as an advisor to many federal departments and agencies, states, and national professional organizations. He is recognized internationally for his expertise in large-scale trauma and has served as an advisor to practitioners, academicians, and government officials in many nations. He received his BA from North Carolina Wesleyan College, his MA in Clinical Psychology from East Carolina University, and his EdD in Mental Health Administration from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Tim DeWeese is the Director of Johnson County Mental Health Center. The Mental Health Center is a department of Johnson County (KS) Government and employs more than 340 staff who provide behavioral health services to nearly 10,000 county residents annually. Tim possesses a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Missouri Southern State University and a Master of Social Work Administration degree from the University of Kansas. He is a Licensed Mental Health Professional in Kansas and has over 30 years of experience in community mental health, where he has worked in various capacities. He possesses extensive knowledge and experience in the public mental health delivery system, client-centered leadership, and program design/development. Tim also served more than 10 years as a commissioned officer in the Army Reserve and National Guard.