The Disaster Response Network (DRN) is a national network of approximately 2500 volunteer psychologists with training in disaster response who offer volunteer assistance to relief workers, survivors, and victims’ families after man-made or natural disasters. The DRN is the result of collaboration between the American Psychological Association and the American Red Cross.
DRN History: After identifying a need to manage the stress experienced by its relief workers at disaster sites, the American Red Cross entered into a Statement of Understanding with the American Psychological Association to add a disaster mental health function to the services it offers. This agreement led to the development of APA’s Disaster Response Network in 1991.
The DRN has more than 2,000 members nationwide. The DRN is currently developing an online database to track and provide information to these members. The network is comprised of state psychological association DRN programs, which are managed on a state-by-state basis. APA’s DRN office serves as an information resource and a liaison between the states and the American Red Cross.
Professional Resources: Reflections on Katrina: An article in the Winter, 2005 issue of the Connecticut Psychologist by Jill Silverman, Ph.D., a CPA member, about her experience in Louisiana after hurricane Katrina. She went to Louisiana under the auspices of the American Red Cross and wrote about her experiences.
Helpful Resources for dealing with natural and man-made disasters from the American Psychological Association, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, US Department of Education and more:
- Disaster Distress Helpline
- Helping your children manage distress in the aftermath of a shooting
- Managing your distress in the aftermath of a shooting
- An interview with Joel Dvoskin, PhD: A mental health expert explains how to recognize danger signs, talk to children about tragedy, and more
- Tips for talking with and helping children and youth cope after a disaster or traumatic event: A guide for parents, caregivers, and teachers
- Psychological First Aid (PFA) for Students and Teachers: Listen, Protect, Connect – Model & Teach
- Listen, Protect, Connect – Model and Teach
- After a Loved One Dies – how children grieve and how parents and other adults can support them
- School Crisis Guide: Help and Healing in a Time of Crisis
- Tips for Talking With and Helping Children and Youth Cope After a Disaster or Traumatic Event.
Candice Weigle-Spier, PsyD , Connecticut’s DRN Coordinator, can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join Us: For more information about joining the DRN or Red Cross trainings in our state, contact email@example.com and put DRN in the subject of your email. For upcoming training opportunities, see info from the Red Cross.