The Impact of Disasters, Disease and Disruption on Mental Health

Tuesday, November 17, 2020 - 1:00pm

Watch The Recording Here

Whether a natural disaster, climate change or the impact of the pandemic on the elderly, vulnerable and other populations, it's no wonder there is an increase in reported anxiety, depression, PTSD, and other mental health concerns. Join us for this webinar with PAU professor Lisa Brown and research professor Josef Ruzek. They will discuss working with victims of disasters, the impact disasters have on mental health, and strategies for coping and healing. Moderating this webinar is Channel-7 KGO-TV news anchor, Ama Daetz.

Both Drs. Brown and Ruzek have first-hand experience guiding mental health preparation and recovery for disasters, particularly those related to climate change events. Dr. Brown has been at the forefront of creating disaster behavioral health response plans to assist the elderly impacted by hurricanes. Dr. Ruzek specializes in early interventions for trauma survivors. He has been instrumental in developing several manualized interventions for disaster survivors (Psychological First AidSkills for Psychological Recovery, Skills for Life Adjustment and Recovery) that have been widely used in the United States and internationally, as well as creating Internet and mobile technologies to assist in disaster recovery (MySonomaStrong and MyDisasterRecovery).


About Lisa Brown

Lisa Brown, Ph.D. & APBB  is a tenured Professor, Director of the Trauma Program, Director of the Risk and Resilience Research Lab at Palo Alto University, and faculty advisor for the Association of Traumatic Stress Studies. Brown’s research focuses on aging, vulnerable adults and disasters. She is on the Gerontological Society of America's COVID-19 Taskforce and was the lead author of the Psychological First Aid in Nursing Homes program and has published more than 50 journal articles on aging and disasters.

About Josef Ruzek

Josef Ruzek, Ph.D. is the co-director of Early Intervention Clinic and Center for m2 Health at Palo Alto University.  The Early Intervention Clinic is dedicated  to developing and evaluating different methods of treatment for trauma survivors.  Ruzek is a co-developer of several psychosocial interventions (Psychological First Aid; Skills for Psychological Recovery; InterPar; 2-session dyadic early intervention for recent trauma survivors). He is also a co-developer of many Internet and mobile phone interventions (e.g., My Disaster Recovery; PTSD Coach; PTSD Family Coach).

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