June 13, 2008
Contact: Julianna M. Pietak
Barry University hosts disaster response training for Miami-Dade communities
Miami Shores, Fla. – The Academy for Better Communities, through Barry University’s School of Social Work, brought disaster response training to more than 50 members of the university and surrounding community, Tuesday, June 10, 2008.
Psychological First Aid for Terrorism and Disasters was presented by the Center for Disaster and Extreme Event Preparedness (DEEP) out of the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine.
“Psychological First Aid is early intervention for psychologically distressed and overwhelmed survivors,” said DEEP Center director and presenter, Dr. James Shultz. “It’s doable by mental health and non-mental health professionals in a variety of settings with almost no equipment.”
The program, which has been presented in more than 10 states and Canada, is a national model, developed and presented by national experts and DEEP Center consultants, such as Tuesday’s presenter, Dr. Andrea Allen, assistant professor of behavioral sciences at Barry. The training targets disaster responders or anyone who may be in contact with disaster victims.
In addition to members of the Barry community, the workshop was open professionals throughout Miami-Dade County, and included representatives from Miami-Dade police departments, health organizations, public schools and community organizations.
“The Academy for Better Communities continues to promote strategies for effective preparedness and response to the unfortunate event of a disaster in South Florida, whatever the nature of the disaster may be,” said Maritza Cabrera, program director for the Academy for Better Communities. “We have wonderful partners in this endeavor, such as the DEEP Center. We welcome Dr. Schultz’s leadership, current information and excellent resources.”
Barry University’s Academy for Better Communities, which hosted the training, brings the university’s resources – expertise, students and faculty – to solve challenges in local communities. The program is implemented through neighborhood resource networks in Homestead, Little Havana, Little Haiti, Gladeview, Sweetwater and North Miami, which provide resources to collaborating residents and leaders of community businesses and organizations.
The disaster response training was funded by the Florida Department of Health with assistance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is the second in a series, and follows a general training also offered by the DEEP Center at Barry last year.
For more information, please contact Maritza Cabrera at (305) 899-3938.