Facing Fear: Crisis Communication and Disaster Behavioral Health
The fields of crisis communication and disaster behavioral health have knowledge that can be mutually beneficial when disaster strikes. In the aftermath of a disaster, effective communication with the public plays a critical role in determining whether or not the public adheres to recommendations from officials. Understanding how individuals and groups behave in emergencies allows for messaging that is more likely to be understood and acted upon. In turn, effective messages can minimize helplessness and foster resilience.
This presentation will discuss disaster mental health myths that can be expected in media coverage and which should be dispelled when possible. It will examine the ways in which psychological responses to disasters influence people’s behaviors. Principles of crisis communications will also be reviewed. Finally, the areas in which communication can address psychological and behavioral responses will be covered.
Academic Faculty/Staff, Federal Government Employees, State Government Employees, Local Government Employees, Non-Government Employees and Students
- Be able to list basic assumptions about life that are violated by disasters
- Be able to outline factors that influence people’s assessment of risk and their level of fear
- Be familiar with principles of crisis communication
Ann E. Norwood, MD
Dr. Ann Norwood is a senior associate at the UPMC Center for Health Security. A retired Army colonel, she is also associate professor of psychiatry at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS), and a physician board certified in psychiatry who has spent much of her career involved in the mental health aspects of disaster preparedness, response and recovery.
Norwood joined the Center after serving as a senior policy analyst in the Office of Preparedness and Emergency Operations, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Prior to that, she served for 15 years in various capacities as billeted faculty member at USUHS, culminating in her position as associate chair. From 2003-2004 Norwood was assigned to Walter Reed Army Medical Center with duty at the Department of Health and Human Services as the senior advisor for public health risk communication, in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Public Health Emergency Preparedness (which subsequently became the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response). She retired from the Army in 2004.
Norwood is Associate Editor of the peer-reviewed journal, Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Biodefense Strategy, Practice, and Science. She is widely published on the mental health aspects of biological and radiological terrorism, disasters and the unique stresses associated with military service. She also lectures and participates in panel discussions on these topics.
Norwood received her A.B. from Vassar College and her M.D. from the F. Hébert School of Medicine at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. She completed her psychiatry internship and residency at the Letterman Army Medical Center, and received disaster psychiatry fellowship training at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences’ Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress.
- 2.00 Participation/CETulane Professional and Continuing Education (PaCE) awards 2.00 hour(s) of credit for completing Facing Fear: Crisis Communication and Disaster Behavioral Health
Links to External Websites
Links to websites outside this course will open in a new window or tab. Some browsers may minimize the course window. If this occurs, maximize the course window to return to the course.
Adobe Acrobat Reader (for desktops and laptops)
Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to access some documents in this course. If you need to download a free copy of Acrobat Reader, click here.
Internet Connection Speed
A minimum download speed of 1.5 Mbps is recommended for an optimal experience, which is commonly the speed associated with a basic DSL or a cellular/satellite connection. A faster connection, such as cable or fiber service, with further enhance your online experience. A Wi-Fi connection is generally acceptable, but it is dependent upon one of the two services mentioned above. You can check your internet connection speed at http://www.speedtest.net/.