Article Out Loud - Wanted: Mental Health Support for Disaster Trauma

An Article Out Loud from the Domestic Preparedness Journal. 

Disasters are often described in terms of the physical damages they incur. However, the significant impact on mental health, which can have even longer-term consequences, sometimes is not addressed until after the response phase of the disaster is complete. This article explains the importance of immediately and simultaneously addressing both the physical and psychological effects of an event. 

Narrated by MacGregor Stephenson. 

Listen on

Ruth Baugher Palmer

Ruth Baugher Palmer, Ph.D., is a professor of Counseling Psychology at Eastern University, near Philadelphia, PA. She is the director of the master’s program in Clinical Counseling, which has a concentration in Trauma Studies. She is a licensed psychologist and holds certifications from the Green Cross Academy of Traumatology and the International Association of Trauma Professionals in compassion fatigue education, grief counseling, and clinical and field traumatology. She served as a field traumatologist with Green Cross during wildfire disasters in Paradise, California (2019) and Lane County, Oregon (2020).

Mary McNaughton-Cassill

Mary McNaughton-Cassill, Ph.D., is a professor of clinical psychology at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Her research focuses on coping with the stress of modern life, and she has written two books on the topic (“Mind the Gap” and “Give Way”). She also has a blog on the Psychology Today website entitled “Mental Health Matters.” She is a fellow of the University of Texas Academy of Distinguished Teachers and a licensed therapist with experience working with trauma survivors in various settings, including a college counseling center, a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs hospital, and private practice. In addition, she has deployed with Green Cross as a team member, compassion fatigue coordinator, team leader, and stress management educator in Puerto Rico, Texas, California, and Oregon.

Mary Schoenfeldt

Mary Schoenfeldt, Ph.D., is the board president of Green Cross Academy of Traumatology and has responded to countless disasters. She is an emergency management professional specializing in community and school crises and has a passion for disaster psychology. She is a faculty member of FEMA Emergency Management Institute, an adjunct faculty at Pierce College, and a subject matter expert for the U.S. Department of Education. She also serves clients through her consulting business. She can be reached at



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