Personal Development

Discussion – Week 12: Reflection #2 – Final Reflection (Disaster Behavioral Health in context & Personal Development)

  1. Think about the application of disaster mental health in the field. How is this skillset and application helpful? For example, how does it tie into Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and how is that helpful in a post-disaster context?
  2. How would this skillset and knowledge help you in the work you do in emergency management? How can you apply these skills or where would they come in useful?
  3. Drawing on your Reading Resources for Wk 12, what is one element of self-care that you find helpful and that you do or would use to keep your stress levels under control during a response (whether as a responder or emergency manager)?
  4. Finally, please indicate what you found the most beneficial aspects of THIS COURSE – (Please name any strengths or areas or improvement and feel free to add recommendations for future years.

example one

hink about the application of disaster mental health in the field. How are this skillset and application helpful? For example, how does it tie into Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, and how is that helpful in a post-disaster context?

Application of disaster skillset is directly related to the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. This is because people who have been greatly affected by a disaster will strive to first acquire the basic needs such as food shelter and water even before realizing their self-worth (Halpern & Tramontin). The responders should then realize that the disaster victims require these needs before providing any other services or guidance. The provision of these needs should be executed though compassion and love which will make them to feel appreciated and be able to gather strength and courage of overcoming the situation. After providing them with these unique services, they will then be in a position to strive to acquire the other needs such as safety and education as the initial needs are already satisfied.

2. How would this skillset and knowledge help you in the work you do in emergency management? How can you apply these skills or where would they come in useful?

The main skillset aspect that I would utilize is on the provision of compassionate care and psychological assistance to the affected victims. This would ensure that they are able to recover from the condition more effectively. The psychological assistance would make them to realize that there are better mitigation approaches that can be utilized to make them recover from the disaster scenario.

3. Drawing on your Reading Resources for Wk 12, what is one element of self-care that you find helpful and that you do or would use to keep your stress levels under control during a response (whether as a responder or emergency manager)?

The main self-care that I found helpful in keeping my stress levels under control during a response is on the personal time management where I would ensure that I have enough breaks that would be utilized to relax and brainstorm on efficient approaches on the course expectations. During these breaks I would communicate with other colleagues and we would discuss each person’s challenges. This made us to easily resolve the major aspects that we found challenging throughout the course.

4. Finally, please indicate what you found the most beneficial aspects of THIS COURSE – (Please name any strengths or areas or improvement and feel free to add recommendations for future years.)

One of the aspects that I found beneficial in this course was on the aspect that the course provided us with an opportunity to actively interact with other students in sharing diverse information regarding the course. This led to the increase in the knowledge level on major psychological aspects associated with the disaster. The research materials provided for the course were also insightful as they led to the acquisition of additional information that is very useful in identifying diverse disaster psychological response designs. One of the areas that I would suggest that should be improved would be on the online zoom meetings. These meetings should be increased to ensure that we are able to actively interact with other colleagues in the quest of gaining more knowledge.

Reference

Halpern, J., & Tramontin, M. (2007). Disaster mental health: Theory and practice. Belmont, CA: Thomson Brooke/Cole

example 2

Disaster mental health is important in many different ways. For example, disaster mental health provides assistance with social support systems, self-care, coping mechanisms, and to be a mentor to listen and offer support when needed. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is important when applying this concept because when providing support, it is important to remember what stage some people may be at in their recovery. If someone does not have food, or shelter they may not be receptive to experience love, and kindness. For example, in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs the theory states that there are 5 steps needed to feel complete. The first is Psychological Needs, Safety Needs, Belonginess, and Self Actualization. Keeping this in mind for a post-disaster context it is important to be mindful if someone just escaped a fire that the first thing they need will be food, water, and warmth. It may take awhile for the victim to achieve Self Actualization for some time which is why seeking the social services offers is so important to a victim that has experienced trauma.

In the field of Emergency Management, it is important to have a balance of services provided. Mental health services are important because this is where a victim can receive hope that they are not alone after a trauma. For example, a victim that was affected by a Tornado, and has lost a pet, or a loved one will now need to seek help from the support systems offered in the field of mental health. What these services try to provide is active listening, and problem solving to help the victim know what steps will be taken to address the problem. If the plan is implemented correctly, services should help with a lack of disorientation, depression, anxiety, suicidal idealization, or abuse of drugs, and alcohol.

One element of self-care from the reading for week 12 I found helpful was to not let yourself experience burnout. I know that many of us are juggling more than one thing to get done from day to day. Time management is important because it helps with the organization of dates, and deadlines, yet making sure yourself feels good on the inside from a mental health perspective is also important. I feel that eating healthy, exercising, and meditating is helpful to fully be able to help another person. In the reading by Halpern & Tramontin (2007) I felt that Chapter 11 stood out about the topic of the impact on the therapist and the need for self-care. Halpern & Tramontin (2007) states “Therapy with survivors of trauma can lead to a questioning of faith and can alter one’s view of human vulnerability. A therapist may develop a sense of helplessness or lose sight of patient’s strength and resilience. There is also the danger that the therapist will assume the role of rescuer and overreach the limits of therapy” (Halpern & Tramontin, 2007). I liked this a lot because there are times, I have felt this way, and needed to remind myself to not get burned out. I needed to walk away from a stressful situation and then went back to reassess how to solve the problem. Taking a break helps clear our mind from internal stressors.

What I enjoyed the most about this course was the podcasts, and the reading in the beginning of the course which was The Unthinkable by Amanda Ripley. I felt that both the book, and the podcasts really helped you to feel what the other person had experienced when going through trauma. The stories were detailed, descriptive, and pulled at your heartstrings. I now due to this course have a new interest in podcasts which I never took the time to listen to. I feel that the best way to learn is to put yourself in another person’s shoes, and this course material did just this. It was more than a reading; it was a journey through someone else’s mind. I also think we learned a lot more survivor techniques that were not addressed in other courses. Thanks for a great term. You were a wonderful teacher.

References

Halpern, J., & Tramontin, M. (2007). Disaster mental health: Theory and practice. Belmont, CA: Thomson Brooke/Cole