As part of APA’s ongoing transformation, their Disaster Resource Network (DRN) program is also transitioning to its next evolution. The primary objective of the new program will provide disaster mental health information, resources, research and training to the broadest number of APA and state psychological association members. A majority of the information can be found on the Disaster Mental Health Information page of the APA website.
The grassroots DRN structure and DRN advisory committee will become disaster response content experts who provide expertise based on the four pillars of Leadership, Training, Research and Theory, Response. Current DRN Coordinators were the first to be invited to be part of this expert group. APA staff will also recruit other experts to develop fresh content for consumers, turn to them for media requests on disaster related stories and as content and response experts for continuing education programs.
APA’s Continuing Education Office will begin offering online disaster response CE programs. The first one, a Clinician’s Corner CE in June 2019, will be offered at APA headquarters to an audience and streamed live so psychologists around the U.S. and Canada can participate. This program will also be recorded for online CE so psychologists can access it in the future.
WSPA Disaster Resource Network Team
In 2018 Debbie Shapiro, Psy.D, was appointed by the Trustees as WSPA’s Disaster Resource Network (DRN) Coordinator only to learn of the changes in the program at APA. She has patiently been waiting to for APA’s new program to be announced.
In addition to working with trauma survivors and having a general private practice, Dr. Shapiro is a volunteer of the American Red Cross and has worked both locally on Disaster Action Teams and Nationally. In 2017, she was deployed to Houston to provide Disaster Mental Health services after Hurricane Harvey. Dr. Shapiro is very enthusiastic about reviving WSPA’s Disaster Resource Network and is eager to get it up and running.
Dr. Shapiro will develop a statewide team of DRN experts partnering with the American Psychological Association (APA) and the American Red Cross. 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.
In addition to Dr. Shapiro, a relatively new WSPA member, Daniel Mosely, Ed.D., is looking forward to being involved. He was the APA Disaster Relief Coordinator with Colorado Psychological Association and is a longtime volunteer with the Red Cross Disaster Mental Health. He moved to Washington State in 2018.