A substantial number of children and families experience emotional difficulties in the aftermath of disasters and terrorist events. Only recently has training in disaster preparedness and response been systematically incorporated into the curricula of mental health disciplines. The goal of the Child & Family Disaster Research Training & Education Program is to enhance the nation's capacity and infrastructure needed to conduct rigorous disaster mental health research on children and families. This article describes the creation and training of 10 specialized research teams, curriculum development, implementation of the program, and progress to date as well as lessons learned and challenges to sustainability.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Disaster mental health is a burgeoning field with numerous opportunities for professional involvement in preparedness, response, and recovery efforts. Research is essential to advance professional understanding of risk and protective factors associated with disaster outcomes; to develop an evidence base for acute, intermediate, and long-term mental health approaches to address child, adult, family, and community disaster-related needs; and to inform policy and guide national and local disaster preparedness, response, and recovery programs. To address the continued need for research in this field, we created the Child and Family Disaster Research Training and Education (DRT) program, which is focused specifically on enhancing national capacity to conduct disaster mental health research related to children, a population particularly vulnerable to disaster trauma. This paper describes the structure and organization of the DRT program, reviews the training curriculum, discusses implementation and evaluation of the program, and reviews obstacles encountered in establishing the program. Finally, key lessons learned are reviewed for the purpose of guiding replication of the DRT model to address other areas of community mental health. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Professional Psychology Research and Practice 01/2010; 41(1):26-33. DOI:10.1037/a0017056 · 1.34 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This case study describes the process and outcomes of the Northwest Center for Public Health Practice Child and Family Disaster Research Training (UWDRT) Program housed at the University of Washington, which used web-based distance learning technology. The purposes of this program were to provide training and to establish a regional cadre of researchers and clinicians; to increase disaster mental health research capacity and collaboration; and to improve the scientific rigor of research investigations of disaster mental health in children and families. Despite a number of obstacles encountered in development and implementation, outcomes of this program included increased team member awareness and knowledge of child and family disaster mental health issues; improved disaster and public health instruction and training independent of the UWDRT program; informed local and state disaster response preparedness and response; and contributions to the child and family disaster mental health research literature.
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