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Mental Health Aspects of Disaster: Public Health Preparedness and Response


3rd term
International Health
2 credits
Academic Year:
2022 - 2023
Instruction Method:
Synchronous Online
Class Times:
  • Monday,  1:30 - 3:20pm
Auditors Allowed:
Yes, with instructor consent
Undergrads Allowed:
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructor:
George Everly
Frequency Schedule:
One Year Only

Introduces students to core terms and concepts in preparing for the mental health consequences of disasters including psychological and behavioral reactions associated with mass disasters. Prepares students to differentiate between mild psychological and behavioral distress reactions and potentially incapacitating acute reactions and familiarizes students with the long-term mental health consequences of disasters. Examines the public health preparedness and response systems that are in place to address mental health aspects of disaster and explores the present capacity of systems. Reviews consensus recommendations and best practices for addressing mental health consequences of disasters. Identifies vulnerable populations and describes the needs of these populations. Discusses strategic planning for mental health consequences of disasters. Develops skills in Psychological First Aid to assist disaster victims.

Learning Objectives:

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  1. Define core terms and concepts in mental health crises and disasters
  2. Recognize and differentiate between mild psychological reactions and behaviors to disaster versus severe, potentially incapacitating reactions
  3. Plan strategically for the psychological response and care of disaster victims
  4. Identify psychologically vulnerable populations in disasters and plan for their care
  5. Develop skills to perform Psychological First Aid for disaster victims
Methods of Assessment:

This course is evaluated as follows:

  • 24% Participation
  • 76% Final Paper

Instructor Consent:

No consent required

Jointly Offered With: