Both natural and human-generated disasters, which are associated with destruction as well as loss of loved ones and irreplaceable belongings, often overwhelm one's normal coping capacity.
Disasters also tend to stress emotional, cognitive, behavioral, physiological, and religious/spiritual beliefs. In light of this, ACA has assembled the resources below to serve as a base for developing responses to disaster situations.
Become a Disaster Mental Health Volunteer with the American Red Cross.
External Trauma and Disaster Resources
Disaster Mental Health Resources
Sexual Abuse Resources
Sheltering In Place Resource
Trauma-related Articles from Counseling Today
Resources Available to ACA Members Only
ACA Disaster Mental Health Resources
The following resources were compiled by the ACA Traumatology Interest Network, facilitated by Karin Jordan. They are a base platform for learning about the skills for dealing with disaster mental health.
Disaster Mental Health Counseling: A Guide to Preparing and Responding, Fourth Edition
edited by Jane M. Webber and J. Barry Mascari
This timely book provides current research and skill-building information on Disaster Mental Health Counseling for counselors, educators, students, and mental health responders in agencies, schools, universities, and private practice. Recognized experts in the field detail effective clinical interventions with survivors in the immediate, intermediate, and long-term aftermath of traumatic events.
This extensively revised edition, which meets 2016 CACREP Standards for disaster and trauma competencies, is divided into three sections: Disaster Mental Health Counseling Foundations, Disaster and Trauma Response in the Community, and Disasters and Mass Violence at Schools and Universities. Real-world responses to violence and tragedies among diverse populations in a variety of settings are presented, and responders share their personal stories and vital lessons learned through an "In Our Own Words" feature. Each chapter contains discussion questions and case studies are interwoven throughout the text.
Sheltering In Place Resource
Working in conjunction with the American Red Cross and other mental health associations, Stephanie Dailey compiled these guidelines for Sheltering-in-Place. The American Counseling Association wishes to express its gratitude to Ms. Dailey for her time and efforts.
Sheltering-in-Place guidelines (PDF)
Trauma-Related Articles from Counseling Today
The resources in this section are articles from our member magazine, Counseling Today, and its companion website. These articles, written for a primary audience of counselors and mental health practitioners, cover an array of trauma related topics, including school shootings.
OTHER TRAUMA AND DISASTER RESOURCES
The following external resources were compiled by ACA Staff. These can be used as a resource for learning more about disaster mental health or to find assistance when experiencing distress.
National Institute of Health:
Disaster Information Management Research Center
National Institute of Mental Health
University of California, Davis:
Child Reactions to Trauma
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network:
12 Core Concepts for Understanding Traumatic Stress Responses in Children and Families
Age-Related Reactions to a Traumatic Event
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA):
Warning Signs and Risk Factors for Emotional Distress
Recognizing and Treating Child Traumatic Stress
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Disaster Distress Hotline
The SAMHSA Disaster Distress Hotline provides 24/7 access to trained crisis counselors for people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters. This toll-free, multilingual and confidential crisis support service is available to all residents in the United States and its territories. Stress, anxiety, and other depression-like symptoms are common reactions after a disaster.
Disaster Distress Hotline Brochure (PDF)
Contact the hotline by phone:
For TTY/hearing impaired access, call 800-846-8517
Contact the hotline by text:
Text ‘TalkWithUs’ to 66746
Spanish speakers: Text ‘Hablanos’ to 66746
Online access to hotline information:
Sexual Abuse Resources
These resources in this section are primarily intended to for counselors and are associated with identifying, reporting and treating childhood sexual abuse.
RESOURCES AVAILABLE TO ACA MEMBERS ONLY
The ACA Center for Counseling Practice, Policy, and Research offers Practice Briefs for ACA members. Practice Briefs, written by scholars in the counseling profession, are research-based summaries of best practices, evidence-based practices, and research-based approaches covering a wide variety of client-presenting issues and counseling topics. Each Practice Brief is several pages in length, includes references, and has been peer-reviewed by two co-editors before being accepted for publication. The Practice Briefs available to members include:
Practice Brief: Grief and Loss
Practice Brief: Death and Dying Issues
Practice Brief: Complex Trauma and Associated Diagnoses
Practice Brief: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Practice Brief: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in Youth