Item description for Proceedings of the 5th Rocky Mountain Region Disaster Mental Health Conference by George W. Doherty...
Recent years have seen an extraordinary number of major disasters, critical incidents and other events that have had major impacts on our world. The 2004 tsunami, hurricanes Rita and Katrina, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan affect millions of lives daily. Potential events such as Avian Flu pandemic, global warming and the increasing threats of spreading unrest in the Middle East are concerns that weigh heavily on us all.
November 8-11, 2006, the Rocky Mountain Region Disaster Mental Health Institute held their Annual four-day Disaster Mental Health Conference. The theme of the conference was "TAKING CHARGE IN TROUBLED TIMES: Response, Resilience, Recovery and Follow-up." This edition contains the major papers presented at the conference and summaries of additional presentations. They address some of the major crisis events confronting our societies in recent years, namely, large disasters such as hurricanes Katrina and Rita; case studies such as Abu Ghraib, and traumatic events such as a night club suicide bombing, the role of cultural sensitivity and ethics in disaster settings, resilience, and the importance of planning, education and taking care of our first responders and mental health professionals. An additional concern with information includes information about preparation of communities and families for deployment and return of military personnel. The importance of planning for how mental health personnel can respond in the event of an Avian Flu Pandemic is also discussed. Presenters are drawn from researchers and responders from Wyoming, the United States, and the United Kingdom.
The Rocky Mountain Region Disaster Mental Health Institute is a 501(c)3 Non-profit Organization
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 11" Width: 8" Height: 0.3" Weight: 0.7 lbs.
Release Date Feb 5, 2007
Publisher Loving Healing Press
ISBN 1932690379 ISBN13 9781932690378
Availability 64 units. Availability accurate as of Oct 25, 2016 04:35.
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Reviews - What do customers think about Proceedings of the 5th Rocky Mountain Region Disaster Mental Health Conference?
Fascinating Apr 29, 2007
Reviewed by Linda Benninghoff for Reader Views (4/07)
This compilation of 10 papers deals with people's reactions to a wide variety of disasters, including not only terror and Hurricane Katrina, but child abuse and the trauma suffered by families of service members.
In the 7th paper, "The Dissociation of Abigail," Abigail, a victim of child abuse, is "confronted with aspects of human capacity for malevolent behavior greater than the ability of the mind to comprehend." Perhaps this definition gets at the true nature of terror also. The author speaks of Abigail experiencing cognitive dissonance as opposed to consonance.
Cognitive dissonance is also experienced by the personnel at Abu Ghraib prison. In his essay, "Why Good People Go Bad, A Case Study of the Abu Ghraib Prison Abuse Courts Martial," Alan Hensley discusses the horror of living in Iraq where people are killed on a daily basis and compares the Stanford Prison experiment, where guards began similarly abusing prisoners because of poor conditions there.
These poor prison conditions, including all-female guards being given responsibility for a predominantly male prison population--something intolerable in Arab culture--contributed to the abuses at Abu Ghraib. A situation of cognitive dissonance is created--where the individual cannot comprehend his world and is in disharmony with it.
In "Culture and Ethics in the Eye of the Storm: Engaging Katrina Survivors in Pennsylvania," by Kenneth Glass and Tasha Graves, the authors discuss how the hurricane primarily impacted poor blacks. The author writes: "In my inner psychic world there is the reality that as successful black woman I am guilty of having basked in my feeling of being separate from such uneducated poverty-stricken individuals that happen to share the same race as I." Yet she becomes incensed at the care given the victims of the hurricane and comes to realize her own vulnerability.
Another essay, "Pandemics and Biological/Chemical Terrorism Attacks: A New Role for Disaster Mental Health," by Thom Curtis, looks into the threat of avian influenza as well as chemical attacks. It suggests that mental health professionals can take care of those afflicted with anxiety or psychological disorders because of the threat, to remove the burden from medical personnel coping with the actual outbreak of the disease or the attacks.
Taken together, the papers are fascinating. The "Proceedings of the 5th Rocky Mountain Region Disaster Mental Health Conference" provides insight into the nature of the individual's response to terror and disaster. They should be interesting reading for everyone who either indirectly or directly has been affected.