Develop the framework for an ideal psychological support agency to respond to a national catastrophic event.
Write a report that details the psychological support framework.
Include the following in your report:
?The size of the agency
?Qualifications and skills of the employees
?The key components of the agency and its overarching mission
?How the agency can work with other organizations and what role the criminal justice system would play in this agency, if any.
Psychological Support Agency
The paper discusses the best framework than an ideal psychological support agency can adapt to deal with a natural catastrophic event. It will also include details about the best size of the agency, the qualifications and skills that the employees should possess, the services provided by the agency, the mission of the agency, and the key components of support agency. Finally, the paper will discuss how the psychological support agency can partner with other organizations and the role that the criminal justice system would have in the agency.
There are many natural catastrophic events that take place all over the world. The most unfortunate part of it is that most of them happen suddenly without warning. It is very vital to have a reliable plan to respond when this happens. Some of the major catastrophic events include a hurricane, tsunami, tornado or an earthquake. Other catastrophic events would be fatal illnesses such as polio, measles or smallpox. There also other manmade disasters such as bombings, wildfire and terrorist activities that target crowded public places. In these cases, millions of lives could be lost. They are natural disasters that require strong and steady support to ease up on the recovery process. In modern society, the advancements in technology have made it easier to make accurate predictions on when a natural disaster might strike. This gives enough time for the citizens to prepare and evacuate the affected areas. A psychological support agency is necessary so as to provide support to the victims and cater for their needs (Wizemann,Snair & Altevogt,2014).
The size of the agency
The size of the agency should be fairly large so that it can serve huge populations. Most of the disasters affect hundreds of thousands or millions of people and it is important to ensure that their needs are catered for. A nationwide catastrophic event for example requires a large agency to make sure that as many lives as possible are saved. The agency should employ thousands of employees. This ensures that there are enough skilled employees to respond in case a major catastrophic event occurs.
In addition to this, the agency should bring professional psychologists on board to offer counseling services to individuals who could be in trauma. The agency should always in be in operation for 24 hours a day 7 days a week, 365 days a year. This ensures that there is an available team to respond to any issue at any point. The round the clock operation ensures that there is promptness and readiness whenever an emergency arises. A rotation schedule should be in operation to make sure that the work is distributed fairly among all employees (Merganthal &Jenkins, 2009)
The agency should have offices distributed across the country with each one of them having enough personnel. If there is a disaster in their locality, they communicate with other agencies and inform them the size of the situation and respond first before other teams are dispatched. The support agency should make sure that information regarding a possible national disaster is communicated on time in the affected areas to give the people time to evacuate if necessary. There are so many services needed when responding to a disaster.
The agency should have doctors, counselors, drivers, pilots, nurses and any other professionals that could be of help in such circumstances it is important to have in mind that different people have different needs. Women and children, the elderly, the disabled, the sick and the injured have different needs whenever a disaster strikes. It is important to make sure that all of them are attended to without fail. This is because the psychological services cannot be of much impact if they lack necessities. Therefore, a psychological support agency should be large enough to cover everyone.
Qualifications and skills of the employees
The major asset of a psychological support agency is the workforce. The employees should be empathetic, supportive and compassionate when interacting with clients. They should also be able to deal with pressure and issues that may arise during the catastrophic event. Sometimes it gets rough and stressful but the employees should be able to control the situation and not show fear or stress to the public. Whatever the situation, they should reassure the victims and be their source of hope.
No matter how bad the situation becomes, the employees should remain calm. This is because they have a responsibility to deliver even if the conditions get worse. By the end of the process, the victims should be restored and ready to continue with their daily activities. This means that there is no chance for the employees to give up or leave the job undone
Empathy is a core skill every employee should possess. They should be able to understand their clients’ experiences even if they are not explicitly open to them. A good psychological therapist should empathize with a client’s situation even if they do not agree with them. The employees should be emotionally attuned to the needs of the clients in order to help them recover. In addition, employees should be good listeners. They should actively listen to the thoughts of the clients and remember important details they convey to them. It is also important to pay attention and explore the clients’ feelings and emotions and understand what they are not saying and what that communicates. They should have strong communication skills so that the victims of the disaster can feel comfortable confiding sensitive parts of their lives in them. In addition, they should be flexible, patient, supportive, organized and have basic computer skills (Goss &Anthony, 2012).
Before hiring employees, a thorough and extensive background check should be conducted to make sure that they have no criminal records and assess their suitability for the job. If they are cleared they should go through extensive training to ensure that they will deliver the best services. The best training period should be at least two weeks so that they can grasp everything required of them. Dealing with victims of a catastrophic national disaster requires everyone to be a professional and stable enough for the job.
A national catastrophic event can affect an individual’s social and psychological wellbeing. The effects can be mild, severe or long lasting and usually change overtime. For some people, the effects do not show until after several years after the emergency event. It is important to have early intervention to mitigate and reduce the risk of having long term and serious psychological issues damaging a person’s wellbeing.
The psychological support agency should ease emotional, social, cultural and psychological impacts of the disasters so that individuals and communities can resume normal functioning. The psychological support can range from counseling, psychological aid, mental health services, personal support, spiritual and emotional care, case management and case support, community engagement to community information sessions (Chandra, 2011).
The families of the victims should be provided with basic supplies such as water, food, soap, clothing, blankets, temporary shelter, and basic hygienic items. After they are provided with the basic supplies, counseling should follow to help them deal with the trauma that comes with the disaster. In most cases, most individuals lose their businesses, assets and their loved ones to the disaster. This can be a traumatizing experience for them and it becomes hard for them to come to terms with the events. It is important to make sure that they get the services of a professional counselor.
The psychological support agency should also partner with other agencies such as FEMA, the American Red Cross and other government and nongovernmental organizations to assist the victims recover and rebuild their lives. They should receive funding from the government and well wishers to restore their lives. It takes time before the victims resume their normal lives. The counseling sessions should continue even after the disaster to make sure that healing is achieved at individual and community levels.
Key components of the agency and its overarching mission
The agency’s key components and its overarching mission are to help citizens to rebuild their lives after a national disaster happens. Regardless of the type of the catastrophic event, the goal and mission of the support agency is to provide mental and psychological support to the victims. National catastrophic events occur suddenly causing fear and panic. People react differently and have different needs in such circumstances. It is the responsibility of the agency to make sure that everyone gets the help they need.
Agency working with other organizations
The support agency will partner with other organizations such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the American Red Cross, and the National Organization for Victims Assistance (NOVA). FEMA will provide funds to individuals to enable them rebuild their lives and the community. The agencies will work together to provide food, medical supplies, water, temporary shelter and other basic supplies. Combining the efforts of the workforce and resources from the three agencies will ensure effectiveness and timely delivery of services.
In addition, the criminal justice system should be involved to make sure that inmates around the affected areas are safe and free from any harm. If necessary, they should be evacuated to safer prisons. The mayhem caused by a disaster may give a chance for some prisoners to escape and get back to the society. It is important to ensure that the public is not facing any danger. Additionally, there people who may take advantage of the situation and loot. Law enforcement officers should make sure that any undestroyed property remains intact for the owners to retrieve once the situation is contained. Any criminals stealing, causing violence or assaulting vulnerable people should be arrested so as to make the process easier. The National Guard and police officers should ensure that the public is calm.
In conclusion, a national catastrophic event can happen at any time. It is important to have agencies in place to support the affected individuals. The victims of the disaster require psychological, emotional and mental support so that they can cope with the situations. A psychological support agency can be so instrumental in helping the victims rebuild their lives. The agency should partner with other agencies so that the recovery process is faster and easier.
Chandra, A. (2011). Building community resilience to disasters: A way forward to enhance national health security. Santa Monica, CA: RAND.
Goss, S., & Anthony, K. (January 01, 2012). The Evolution of Guidelines for Online Counselling and Psychotherapy.
Merganthal, P. B., Jenkins, W. O., United States., & United States. (2009). National emergency responses. New York: Nova Science.
Wizemann, T. M., Snair, M. R., Altevogt, B. M., Institute of Medicine (U.S.)., & Disaster Preparedness, Response, and Recovery Considerations for Children and Families (Workshop). (2014). Preparedness, response, and recovery considerations for children and families: Workshop summary.