Mental Health

How do Mental Healthcare Professionals Volunteer During a Disaster?

We hope mental health professionals will take steps to receive appropriate training, and register with disaster response agencies (e.g., American Red Cross), before a disaster strikes. If you have not done so, but are willing to volunteer your time and expertise during a disaster, the best way to do so is to directly contact your state professional association listed below. On this website, you will also find resources to enhance your understanding of disaster mental health counseling.

Web Links

This article, targeted toward social workers, covers the legal requirements for disaster volunteering on the federal and state levels. It provides an overview on disaster relief, licensing, liability, and confidentiality.

Titled “Standing Together,” this is a guide to disaster planning for the entire community.

This Pediatric Preparedness Resource Kit helps caregivers access the needs of their communities before and during a disaster.

The National Board for Certified Counselors website has a list of resources for professionals who wish to volunteer in the aftermath of disasters.

The American Academy of Pediatrician’s CHILDisaster Network is made up of health care professionals who volunteer in disaster relief on short-term notice. This webpage provides detailed information on applying for and participating in the network.

This article comprehensively outlines the phases of disaster planning and the factors that need to be taken into account during the planning process.

The Center for Disease Control's web page for disaster preparedness covers the materials that might be beneficial in a disaster. This article addresses responses to disasters and the phases of recovery.

Here is a pdf that talks about forming a Community Volunteer Organization Active in Disasters (VOAD), which you can help create if a disaster occurs in your community.

This is a webpage that provides places to volunteer and information about reaching out to children during and after disasters.