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Disaster Behavioral Health Training comes to UMFK campus May 14 & 15

April 14, 2015

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The University of Maine at Fort Kent will host a Disaster Behavioral Health Training: A critical Response on Thursday, May 14 and Friday, May 15 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the University campus. This is a regional two-day training session.

Organizers set up the training for mental health and substance abuse providers, psychiatrists, nurses, psychologists, social workers, spiritual care providers, first responders, and other individuals who wish to learn more about the behavioral health response to disasters.

This training session provides a better informed community in Maine for responding to disaster around the issue of behavioral health and its critical role in disaster response. The session also develops a volunteer team of disaster behavioral health responders throughout Maine who are available to provide mental health and substance abuse support in the event of a disaster or local emergency.

On the first day, participants will learn about the behavioral health impact of disasters on individuals and communities; normal and adverse stress reactions and how the state and national disaster preparedness and response system works. On day two, participants will learn disaster behavioral health interventions used to identify and address these reactions, such as psychological first aid. They will go through an exercise to learn how to set up a family assistance center and respond to the needs of the victims and families. Finally, they will have the opportunity to learn about and join the formal state team in Maine tasked with responding to the behavioral health needs of the community after a disaster.

The program director of Disaster Behavioral Health Services manages the Behavioral Health Response Teams at the state level, and clinical team leaders manage them locally. These teams will receive training to respond to the emotional needs of disaster victims, responders, or community members in local, state, or nationally declared disasters or traumatic incidents requiring a behavioral health response.

The Maine Center for Disease Control (Maine CDC) and the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (Maine DHS) are sponsoring the training.

People attending must pre-register online at: http://www.mainedisasterbehaviorhealth.com/training/ (link no longer active)

The registration fee of $50 includes lunch, breaks, and continuing education. There is a fee waiver allocated for

UMFK students pending enrollment in Maine Responds volunteer registry, which students can access at: www.maineresponds.com (link no longer active)

Also individuals who participate and are interested in joining the Maine Disaster Behavioral Health Response Team are eligible to attend at no charge.

The deadline for registration is Thursday, April 30. Cancellations must be received in writing at least 48 hours before the start of the training. No show will be charged the full $50 fee.

For more information, please contact UMFK Assistant Professor Shawn Graham at 834-8627 or shawn.graham@maine.edu