NASW Volunteers Needed To Assist With Disasters

Sep 12, 2008

As Hurricane Ike approaches Texas, the American Red Cross is in great need of licensed mental health professionals (Volunteering)*

Volunteering in your local community

American Red CrossTo find the Red Cross chapter closest to you, please go to the Chapter Locater website at www.redcross.org. Local volunteers may be called upon to provide mental health support to volunteers going on national disaster assignments or to Red Cross chapter workers and volunteers who may be experiencing increased stress due to the pressures of coordinating the response to national disaster relief operations while still responding to the ongoing needs of their local community. Please be aware that mental health volunteers may be expected to complete Red Cross-specific training in psychological first aid and disaster mental health to prepare them for their volunteer roles and to ensure the safety and welfare of Red Cross clients and volunteers as well as those from partnering agencies.

Volunteering outside your local community

If you are interested and available for a national deployment for 10 days to 3 weeks, please contact your local Red Cross chapter. To find the Red Cross chapter closest to you, please go to the Chapter Locater website at www.redcross.org. Please be aware that prior to a national deployment, mental health volunteers must be registered as Red Cross volunteers and will be required to complete Red Cross-specific mental health training in psychological first aid and disaster mental health to prepare them for their volunteer roles and to ensure the safety and welfare of Red Cross clients and volunteers as well as those from partnering agencies. Be prepared for there to be a waiting period before Red Cross training is available and before you can deploy out of state. Any help you can provide to your local community and Red Cross chapter during this waiting period will be of great help. (In special circumstances, you may be notified of alternative training arrangements).

If you have additional questions or need more information, please contact your local Red Cross chapter directly.

*DMH Eligibility Criteria
  • Independently-licensed, master’s level (or higher) mental health professionals
  • State-licensed or state-certified school counselors and school psychologists
  • Licensed psychiatric RNs or RNs with at least two years experience working with direct client service in a behavioral health setting

*Duties and training for volunteers vary and are subject to the discretion of the American Red Cross. Any question you have regarding applying your professional social work skills in disaster mental health volunteering with the American Red Cross must be addressed by the local Red Cross chapter.

NASW has a continuing partnership with the American Red Cross

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