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Harvey Disaster Response/Resources
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September 2017

We are happy to pass on the following information from Give an Hour.  This would apply to those who may have licenses or temporary licenses in Texas.  We will continue to post opportunities for you to respond to Harvey.  Our recovery will be long and MH providers are a valuable resource in the recovery process.

To our valued Give an Hour Providers,

Thank you for generously giving your time and expertise to those seeking mental health care through our network. As our nation faces the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, there is a critical need to provide help and hope to those who are suffering in Texas and the surrounding states. 

As in the past when our communities have been affected by natural disasters such as this, Give an Hour is opening our network to those in need. As rescue efforts continue and rebuilding begins, we are partnering with the Red Cross to support those affected by Harvey.

While some people will be in need of intensive mental health treatment immediately, many more people will be in need of someone who can provide emotional support and assistance They will be in need of someone who can empathically listen and assist them as they work through this crisis, identify effective coping strategies, and formulate a plan to move forward. Who better than trained mental health professionals to fill this massive need. Give an Hour can and will help.

We are inviting GAH providers nationwide to assist those in need by offering phone support to the survivors of Hurricane Harvey as they begin to rebuild their lives. Please note that even if you are not licensed in the states where Hurricane Harvey has caused destruction,  you can  offer  emotional support, provide education and identify resources to assist those in need. We are not asking you to provide therapy or counseling for this relief effort.

How to help:

  1. Log-in to your GAH provider profile:https://giveanhour.org/give-help/licensed-provider-information/provider-login/.
  2. Verify all of your contact information is up to date. 
  3. Choose “ Those affected by a natural or manmade disaster or tragedy” in the  Populations Interested in Serving field,  in addition to any other populations you wish to serve .
  4. Select “ Phone” in the  Format of Counseling field.
  5. Click “Save” at the bottom.

Once you have completed these steps, your name and phone number will automatically be added to a list of providers offering phone support to survivors of Harvey. As with any Give an Hour client – please let us know if you are contacted by someone seeking assistance who you cannot support. 

Also, as you may have heard, there are efforts underway to allow non Texas providers the opportunity to apply for a temporary Texas license to offer counseling to those in need in Texas. This is a very simple process that requires a one page application and verification of your current license. To find out more click here if you are a licensed socail worker or here if you are a licensed psychologist.  

We will be in touch to share additional information over the coming days. We will also post guidelines for this specific effort on a special page on our site early next week  to assist you as you provide emotional support to those in need. 

Thank you for your compassion and for your willingness to serve. I am so proud that Give an Hour is able to offer vital support, care, and comfort to those who have lost so much.

Take care,

Barbara Van Dahlen Signature

Barbara Van Dahlen, Ph.D.
Founder & President
Give an Hour >>

Calling for Volunteers

Many of you have offered to help as volunteers since Harvey hit the Texas coast. TPA is committed to supporting Texans as they deal with their emotional and behavioral responses to disaster.

As part of our TPA Disaster Resource Committee efforts, we are setting up a short-term post-Harvey (three sessions maximum) pro bono counseling program. If you are a licensed psychologist in good standing and interested in volunteering to participate in this program, please click the button below to complete the form by populating your specialties and populations served. All fields in the form are required.

By completing the form, you are agreeing to offer to 3 sessions pro bono therapy either in person or via telephone to the public. The Harvey Doctor Finder will be a time limited program listed on our website. 

Thank you for your kind consideration.

General Resources

APA/DRN has always been very prompt with resources.  Today is no exception and we are pleased to pass these on to our membership.  The following links may be helpful in the days to follow both for providers as well as for our clients.  One suggestion would be to have a couple of these printed out to be available for the populations you serve.  Don't forget that you may experience additional stress as well - self-care is primary.

Tips to strengthen your emotional well-being before the arrival of a hurricane  
http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/hurricane-preparation.aspx

Managing traumatic stress: After the hurricanes  
http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/hurricane-stress.aspx

Tornadoes, Hurricanes and Children  
http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/tornadoes-kids.aspx

Managing traumatic stress: Dealing with the hurricanes from afar 
http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/hurricane-afar.aspx

Strengthening your emotional well being ahead of the flood  
http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/flood-preparation.aspx

Manage flood-related distress by building resilience  
http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/flood-distress.aspx

What psychologists do on disaster relief operations 
http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/disaster-site.aspx

The road to resilience  
http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/road-resilience.aspx


Resources for Children

Here are some good sources of information for parents, teachers, etc.

http://nctsn.org/trauma-types/natural-disasters/floods

http://nctsn.org/trauma-types/natural-disasters/hurricanes

An app to help kids:

http://nctsn.org/content/help-kids-cope

Activities for kids:

http://bit.ly/2vwFuM9

http://bit.ly/2wCamyE

http://bit.ly/2vwtp9P

http://bit.ly/2wipmio

http://bit.ly/2wiEmg4

 


September 7

We have been advised that the Red Cross will not be recruiting for additional direct deployment volunteers to support Hurricane Irma operations. Due to the massive response to Hurricane Harvey recruitment efforts, they will be relying on the applicants they already have to support both Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma operations New volunteers are encouraged to join their local Red Cross region to be available for future disaster responses. 

This may be very frustrating to our colleagues who have so generously offered to respond.  We will continue to post suggestions for other opportunities to respond for those with a Texas license.

September 5

Dr. Jana Tran is a staff psychologist who works for the Houston Fire Department.  She is seeking psychologists who are willing to provide pro bono and/or reduced fee services to firefighters.
If you are interested in being on this referral list, please send your contact information (name, email, address, phone) AND area(s) of specialty to Christine Pao at christinekapao@gmail.com.

Dr. Tran's contact information is:
jana.tran@houstontx.gov
(281)901-4341

September 4

As you can imagine the dynamics of a response the size of Harvey is fluid and complex.  Your TPA/DRN has responded to hundreds of emails from fellow colleagues around the country and Canada.  As more and more MH volunteers come into the area to meet immediate needs, we need to turn our attention and efforts to long-term recovery.  

First, the volume of emails has been heartening but difficult to manage.  I'm also sure that some would prefer a more streamline way to get information than the emails from the now frequent emails from your DRN.  As such, we will now be posting response information and resources on the website rather than regularly emailing.  If you are interested in responding, please go to the Harvey Response -Resources/Information link on the home page of www.texaspsyc.org. Check back for updates regularly.

We do have some new information from Red Cross.  The National Headquarters reports that more than 5000 MH professionals have signed up on their link within the first week.  They announced yesterday that they have paused the acceptance of new applications while they focus on the applications in the cue.  They ask for patience from those that have already signed in.  They will be focusing on those that can deploy soonest.

The Houston Fire Department has expressed interest in professionals that may be able to respond with teletherapy.  We will post the "how-to" as soon as that is made available.

We are in contact with local and state VOAD.  We all appreciate the vast resource that MH professionals can bring to this response.  This will be a long recovery. As opportunities are developed, we will work with VOAD and other organizations to disseminate additional ways to respond.  

We would like to share a resource provided by Dr. Michaele Dunlap from Oregon.  This is a free resource that is most appropriate for our children affected by the flood.  This informative coloring book is available in English and Spanish.

Flood Recovery Coloring Book and Parent Guide [PDF]

Flood Recovery Coloring Book and Parent Guide  [PDF- Spanish]

Available free at  www.MentorResearch.org

We would like to encourage you again to reach out to our colleagues who may have been affected.  Some have had their home damaged, some their office. Offering a temporary office will help with continuity of care.  

Thank you again for all the support and offers of response.  

 

Rebecca Hamlin, Ph.D. and Judith Andrews, Ph.D.
Co-Coordinators, TPA/DRN

August 30

Overwhelmed? Tips for managing hurricane-related distress, including special tips for children: 

http://www.texaspsyc.org/link.asp?ymlink=153995540

 

August 28

The following is an email we have received from Christi Rodgers, Senior Associate, Disaster Mental Health, American Red Cross National Headquarters.  This will be the best way to volunteer through Red Cross, particularly if you have not been a volunteer for Red Cross before.  She has also said that if volunteers are local, they can help when their schedule allows.  Red Cross would prefer a commitment of at least 2 full days but they don’t have to be consecutive days. Of course they would still take people if they can only give 1 day.  If anyone has difficulty with the process, let us know.  Please note the information and link below:

As you are probably aware, the situation in Texas is devastating and is expected to get worse. Thank you to all of those who have already made themselves available to deploy in person or to support the response virtually.
 
One more way you can help:
-We have activated the Direct Deployment process to recruit new DMH and DHS volunteers who are not already Red Crossers. Volunteer recruitment information for health and mental health professionals can be found at 

http://www.redcross.org/hurricane-harvey-health-professionals or

http://www.redcross.org/take-a-class/lp/hurricane-harvey-health-professionals .

Please share this link with your networks however you can: Email messages, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc.
 
-FYI - For now, we are not recruiting for Direct Deployment Screeners beyond those volunteers who responded to my request for interest last month. If we end up needing additional screeners in the future, I will let you know.
 
Clarification on training requirements for deployment:
-I have received the question multiple times today about whether it is okay to deploy a DMH volunteer who joined Red Cross after January 9, 2017 and who has not been able to take DMH Fundamentals Part 2 yet.
-The answer is YES, they can be deployed. We need all of the responders we can get and they will receive an orientation and supervision when they are on the ground.
 
Please know how much we appreciate everyone’s support.  Be Safe!

Rebecca Hamlin, Ph.D. and Judith Andrews, Ph.D.
Co-Coordinators TPA/DRN


August 27

I am writing this email from Houston.  Most of us are just tired and wondering when the recovery process will be allowed to begin.  The rain doesn't seem to want to cooperate.  For other communities south of us and inland, wind and surge damage has been extensive and the rebuilding process will be arduous.  We have been in contact with Red Cross.  The need is great and they are considering how to accommodate spontaneous volunteers here in this area.  This may vary across the state.  If you can help, please contact your local chapter for instructions.  Do not forget to bring a copy of your most current license.  We are also asking for further information from the national Red Cross headquarters and will send out as soon as we hear.

If you are aware of other volunteer opportunities, please let us know.  In the mean time, we will send out information as it is available.  This will be a long recovery - your help will be appreciated.  Stay safe and, as always, self-care is first.

Rebecca Hamlin, Ph.D and Judith Andrews, Ph.D.
Co-Coordinators TPA/DRN


August 24

Although our Disaster Resource Network (DRN) notices generally go only to our DRN members, we have asked TPA to send this information out to all TPA members.  I am sure that most of us have been watching the weather news regarding Tropical Storm Harvey.  For long-time Gulf Coast folks, this is a storm that may develop into a hurricane and is likely to have significant rain/flooding implications.  Of course, also as Gulf Coast residents, we know that warning of “epic flooding” can end up dissipating like an afternoon shower.  We have reached out to our state emergency management colleagues as well as to response organizations.  Although the worst of the storm may vary by location, it is very likely that much of our Gulf Coast needs to be prepared.  Governor Abbott made a disaster declaration for 30 counties.  Regardless of the actual outcome, our goal as responders is to prepare and stage resources as appropriate. 

First, self-care is always at the top of the list.  If you are new to Texas, do NOT underestimate flood waters and do NOT try to drive through questionable areas.  Make sure you know where local shelters are located.  The Red Cross has several apps including apps for hurricanes, flooding, and shelters.  These are great resources and have information for preparations as well as options for connecting families during a disaster. 

If you can respond, we ask that you work through response organizations such as the Red Cross or CISM and do not self-deploy.  If you are available to respond in some way contact your organization and let them know of your availability.  If you have not responded in the past, some organizations (such as the Red Cross) offer “Just in Time” training.  We will try to alert you to that possibility as we hear.  Most organizations request that you consider responding for a block of time rather than for a day or few hours.  It takes time to orient to the specific needs or protocols of the response and volunteering for several days provides continuity.

For longer term recovery, please let your organization know if you can provide assistance.  We frequently have lots of interest in helping as a storm hits but a lot of the work occurs in the weeks that follow.  This may be particularly true for providers in the hardest hit areas.  You may have difficulty responding initially because of your personal challenges from the storm but your help to your community may be critical as the weeks pass.  During this time, providing a few hours of assistance may be more appropriate.

Finally, if you have experience with special populations, including substance abuse populations, please contact your volunteer organization and let them know.

Please let us know if you have any questions – be safe.

Rebecca Hamlin, Ph.D. and Judith Andrews, Ph.D.
Co-Coordinators, TPA/DRN

 

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