More than 50 Antioch University New England graduate students from the Applied Psychology department are now members of New Hampshire’s Disaster Behavioral Health Response Team (DBHRT). The DBHRT builds New Hampshire’s capacity statewide to respond to disasters through a coordinated effort. The training was led by Jennifer Schirmer, disaster behavioral health coordinator for the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, and Dr. Mark Lindberg, disaster behavioral health liaison for the northern half of the state and collaborator.
Dr. Barbara Andrews, program director for AUNE’s Clinical Mental Health and Counseling program, and Dr. Cathy Lounsbury, chair of the Department of Applied Psychology, serve as team liaisons for the collaboration between AUNE and DBHRT.
“Contributing to the state’s capacity to respond to disasters and critical incidents is an important way to fulfill Antioch’s mission,” says Lounsbury. “Through our partnership, we will continue to coordinate training for anyone in the AUNE community who wants become a part of DBHRT to provide disaster-related services to the general public, victims, their families and first responders in New Hampshire.”
The New Hampshire Department of Safety, Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM) developed DBHRT to respond to the mental health needs of New Hampshire residents and responders following disasters and critical incidents. There are five regional disaster behavioral health response teams which can be deployed immediately anywhere in the state. These teams respond when local behavioral health resources have been depleted or are overwhelmed.
Over 800 Behavioral Health Response Team members have completed specialized training in basic disaster behavioral health response. Team members operate under the supervision of DHHS’s Disaster Behavioral Health Coordinator, receive ongoing training and participate in community/statewide drills and exercises.
For more information, visit: https://www.nhresponds.org/nhhome.aspx