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American Red Cross Mental Health Conference Trains Future Volunteers

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (November 29, 2012)--When a disaster like Superstorm Sandy hits, trained Red Cross mental health volunteers are needed to help people cope as they rebuild their lives.

The American Red Cross Gateway to the Golden State Region's Disaster Mental Health conference held in San Jose earlier this month, hosted by University of Phoenix and sponsored by El Camino Hospital, trained 41 people to become Red Cross disaster mental health volunteers. The conference was attended by 69 people, many of them already trained mental health volunteers for the Red Cross.

During the conference, sessions were taught by instructors with extensive local and national disaster response experience and topics included:

  • Reflections on responding to disasters
  • Disaster Mental Health concepts, trainings and research
  • "In the Trenches and By their Side": Provision of Disaster Mental Health Services and Military Outreach
  • Orientation to Red Cross and volunteer opportunities
  • Some attendees also participated in a volunteer training class: "Foundations of Disaster Mental Health," a required course to become a Red Cross disaster mental health volunteer.

    See photos from the event on the Red Cross Bay Area's Flickr page.

    Disasters can be emotionally difficult for those impacted as well as for those involved in the relief operation. Disaster Mental Health volunteers provide mental health services at the scene for clients and relief workers. To learn more, visit