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J Clin Psychol. 2016 Dec;72(12):1348-1363. doi: 10.1002/jclp.22336. Epub 2016 Aug 9.

Helping the Helpers: Assisting Staff and Volunteer Workers Before, During, and After Disaster Relief Operations.

Author information

1
Disaster Mental Health Institute, University of South Dakota.

Abstract

Self-care strategies and system supports employed in preparation for, during, and after disaster relief operations (DROs) are crucial to relief worker well-being and the overall effectiveness of relief efforts. Relief organizations and management must structure DROs in a manner that promotes self-care and workers must implement proper self-care strategies. Proper self-care before, during, and after a DRO can reduce negative reactions to stressful emergency work and promote growth, mastery, and self-efficacy after the experience. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to discuss the importance of organizational supports and self-care strategies in disaster relief settings. This article emphasizes the role of both individual and management participation and commitment to relief worker support and positive experience in DROs and provides suggestions for doing so. These suggestions are derived from the empirical and experiential literature and extensions from the theoretical background, and from our experience as managers in DROs.

KEYWORDS:

compassion fatigue; disaster mental health; disaster response; self-care

PMID:
27505124
DOI:
10.1002/jclp.22336
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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