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Become a Certified Disaster Mental Health Responder
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Become a Certified Disaster Mental Health Responder

Trained Disaster Mental Health Responders are need statewide.  Disaster Mental Health Responders are independently licensed professionals acting within the scope of their licenses to provide DMH services that supplement, not supplant existing community mental health services. DMH Services address disaster-aggravated or disaster-caused mental health needs and are offered during all phases of disaster, including preparedness, response and recovery.

 DMH workers respond to the emotional needs of people affected by disaster. This includes members of the affected community as well as other Red Cross workers experiencing the stress of disaster response.  Using professional knowledge and skills, DMH workers provide approved disaster mental health interventions that focus on basic care, support and comfort of individuals experiencing disaster-related stress.

 Disasters vary in size and scope and may affect single or multiple family dwellings, neighborhoods, communities, states, regions or the nation as a whole. Red Cross DMH workers also help communities mitigate the effects of disasters by providing family, neighborhood and community preparedness and resilience training.

 DMH services include:
1. Identifying mental health needs through individual psychological triage and mental health surveillance;
2. Promotion of resilience and coping, including enhanced psychological first aid (EPFA), individual psychoeducation, community level support and community resilience training;
3. Providing targeted disaster mental health interventions, including secondary assessment and referrals, crisis intervention, casualty support and advocacy.

If you are interested in becoming a disaster mental health responder for NASW and the American Red Cross follow these simple steps:

1. “Licensed mental health professional who are eligible to join the American Red Cross Disaster Mental Health activity are those who have one of the following criteria:

          a. An independent license (license to practice without supervision) and master’s degree as a clinical social worker, psychologist, professional counselor. Marriage and family therapist, psychiatric     nurse or psychiatrist, or
          b. A state licenses or state certification and master’s degree as a school psychologist or school  counselor issued by a state board of education,
          c. A state license and a bachelor’s degree (BSN) as a registered nurse and American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) certification for psychiatric and mental health nursing to include RN-BN or PMHNP-BC or PMHCNS-BC.

2. If you meet the criteria in step, to get started, please click (or copy and paste) the link to our volunteer application at http://www.redcross.org/md/baltimore/volunteer
         If you live on the Eastern Shore please use this link:
https://volunteerconnection.redcross.org/?nd=intake&entry_point_id=1805&unit_id=183&logout=1

         Once you submit the application, an automated email will be generated to activate your Volunteer Connection account.  Our application process is totally web-based now. Your account homepage will take offer the steps to complete your intake. 

If you have any questions or concerns at any point, please do not hesitate to contact Denise Thompson at 410-624-2023. 

3. Prior to the conference you must take the online course Disaster Services: An Overview (Module 1 – online) approx. 1hr.  Pre-requisite course for all Red Cross Disaster Training classes.  https://classes.redcross.org/Saba/Web/Main/goto/RegisterCatalog?offeringId=dowbt000000000006724&context=meorder&addtoorderkey=yes&orgId=00000ARC

         • This link will direct you to the login page of the Red Cross Learning Management System, Saba (https://classes.redcross.org)

          • If you are a current Red Cross volunteer, enter your Saba log in information. OR a new user should click on New Users to create a profile

         • Log into system

          • You will be directed to a page that says Create order. The class will be listed in your Shopping Cart

          • At bottom right, click on Place Order (There is no cost for disaster response training)

          • You are automatically registered and will receive an immediate confirmation email.

          • Once you have registered for an on-line course it will be saved under the “my learning tab”.

         • Go to the “my learning tab” and complete the course and print certificate.

         • If you have any issues accessing any of the above mentioned training contact  Michelle.Thompson@redcross.org or  410-624-2055 (office).

    4. Once steps 1-3 are completed, enroll in the American Red Cross Track at the 8th Annual Conference.  The workshops needed to become a certified disaster mental health responder are:
         a. Workshop R:  Psychological First Aid -required
         b. Workshop M: Foundations of Disaster Mental Health- required
         c. Workshop C:   Ethics in Disaster Mental Health-highly recommended

     5. The American Red Cross will contact you to assign you to the mental health team and to make arrangement with you to submit a copy of your license. Malpractice insurance is not required. 
Mental health responders for the Eastern Shore, Southern, and Western Maryland are especially needed.



Become a Disaster Responder

Disaster Responders respond to local citizens who have experienced a disaster (fire, flood, etc.).  Disaster responders provide case work services to address disaster caused needs of people affected by disaster.   Social workers without independent license are eligible to become disaster responders with the American Red Cross!   Disaster Responders are needed in statewide but there is a special need on the Eastern Shore, and Southern and Western Maryland.  If you are interested just follow these simple steps.

1. Prior to the conference you must take the online course Disaster Services: An Overview (Module 1 – online) approx. 1hr.  Pre-requisite course for all Red Cross Disaster Training classes.  https://classes.redcross.org/Saba/Web/Main/goto/RegisterCatalog?offeringId=dowbt000000000006724&context=meorder&addtoorderkey=yes&orgId=00000ARC

     • This link will direct you to the login page of the Red Cross Learning Management System, Saba (https://classes.redcross.org)

     • If you are a current Red Cross volunteer, enter your Saba log in information. OR a new user should click on New Users to create a profile

     • Log into system

     • You will be directed to a page that says Create order. The class will be listed in your Shopping Cart

     • At bottom right, click on Place Order (There is no cost for disaster response training)

     • You are automatically registered and will receive an immediate confirmation email.

     • Once you have registered for an on-line course it will be saved under the “my learning tab”.

     • Go to the “my learning tab” and complete the course and print certificate.

     • If you have any issues accessing any of the above mentioned training contact  Michelle.Thompson@redcross.org or  410-624-2055 (office).

2. Contact Michelle Thompson at Michelle.Thompson@redcross.org or  410-624-2055 (office). to enroll in
     • July 27, 2013 Client Case work course 9-5:00 Charles County or
     • August 1, 2013 Client Case work course 9:00-5:00 4800 Mt. Hope Road
     If you live on the Eastern Shore please contact Sharon Jefferson 302-472-6244 to enroll in disaster services overview and client case work.” 

3. Once Disaster Services Overview and the Client Casework courses have been completed you will be assigned to a Disaster Action Team, put on a roster and given response materials.

4. Enroll in the American Red Cross Track at the 8th Annual Conference.  The workshops for disaster responders are:
     • Workshop R:  Psychological First Aid –mandatory
     • Workshop C:   Ethics in Disaster Mental Health-highly recommended


 IF YOU LIVE IN MONTGOMERY OR PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTIES!

On Boarding Steps for New Volunteers
Here are the steps to become a Disaster Mental Health volunteers with the American Red Cross in the National Capital Region (Montgomery & Prince George’s Counties, MD).
1. Go towww.redcross.org
2. At the top in light blue click onto Find Your Local Red Cross
3. Enter a local zip code in the District of Columbia, Prince George’s or Montgomery Counties in MD, or Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, or Prince William in VA
4. The American Red Cross in the National Capital Region must be displayed
5. Click onto Volunteer with Us which is on the left side
6. Then scroll down to Getting Started and click onto Adult Volunteer Application
7. Create Your Volunteer Connection Account
8. Complete the Online Orientation
9. Choose your Volunteer Interest (Select – Individual Client Services: Disaster Mental Health)
10. Update Your Volunteer Profile
11. Read and Agree to Red Cross Policies
12. Initiate your Volunteer Background Check (Please ensure you check VA on the map which is the Chapter Headquarters for the American Red Cross in the National Capital Region.  It will read as follow:
ARC of the National Capital Region
Washington VA
13. Confirm that your Background Check was completed successfully
14. You will be referred to your designated Department of Interest
15. I will then receive the notification that you have completed the process.

 

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