WSPA Disaster Relief Network (DRN)
WSPA's Disaster Resource Network (DRN) is building a community of psychologists committed to humanitarian and clinical involvements during times of human-made and natural disasters.
Psychologists have had a long standing tradition and commitment to providing humanitarian and psychological support during times of need. With the continuing increase in mass violence, natural disasters and various forms of terrorism there is a growing need to assist those who have been affected by such devastating events. Psychologists have the unique skill set, training and expertise to provide resources, education and trainings. They also provide relief to first responders, survivors, survivors families, and communities that have been affected by a catastrophic events. Although psychologists do not offer therapy at disaster sites, they can help people build upon their own internal strengths to begin the process of recovering from the disaster. As psychologists we can be involved in all aspects of disaster mental health including preparedness, response, and helping communities post-disaster. Click here to learn more about what psychologists do in disaster relief operations.
Our Disaster Resource Network is lead by Debbie Shapiro, Psy.D., a trauma expert with local and national disaster mental health experience. She has a general private practice and is a volunteer of the American Red Cross as well as The Public Reserve Corp and has worked with local and national Disaster Action Teams. In 2017, she deployed to Houston to provide Disaster Mental Health services after Hurricane Harvey.
WSPA is currently partnering with the APA, the American Red Cross, the Public Health Reserve Corp., and are in the process of looking into partnering with other local and state agencies. If you are interested in Disaster Mental Health and joining WSPA's DRN Team, you will need training by the Red Cross. Start by taking a free 30-minute Red Cross introductory course, "Disaster Mental Health: Introduction" to see if these activities may be for you.
Licensed psychologists are eligible to volunteer with the American Red Cross; their eligibility requirements for all mental health professionals can be found by clicking here.
Disaster Preparedness and Response, Resources and Information
Public information on natural disasters
- Managing traumatic stress: After the hurricanes provides insight into how victims of disasters can understand their emotions and learn to cope.
- Tornadoes, Hurricanes and Children gives tips to parents and others who care for children to help alleviate the emotional consequences of natural disasters.
- Managing traumatic stress: Dealing with the hurricanes from afar offers tips to people who are witnessing the images of flooding and hurricane destruction from a distance.
- Recovering emotionally from disaster can help people better understand the overwhelming reactions and responses they may be having following the hurricane.
- "5 tips for coping with natural disaster stress": Video in English about how to deal with stress over natural disasters.
- "5 consejos para hacer frente al estrés debido a desastres naturales": Video in Spanish about how to deal with stress over natural disasters.