Institute for Disaster Mental Health to host treatment conference at SUNY New Paltz

NEW PALTZ — The Institute for Disaster Mental Health (IDMH) at the State University of New York at New Paltz will hold a conference and workshop, titled “Treatment Innovations for Disaster/Trauma Survivors,” from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Friday, April 21, in Lecture Center 100.

The one-day conference will focus on current long-term treatment for trauma and disaster survivors experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder and complicated or traumatic grief reactions. Financial support for the event has been provided by a $37,000 September 11 recovery grant from the American Red Cross Liberty Disaster Relief Fund.

James Halpern, IDMH director and professor of psychology at SUNY New Paltz, and Phyllis Freeman, associate professor of psychology, coordinated the day, which includes a variety of speakers.

Scheduled to appear are nationally known experts in the field of disaster/trauma studies. They include: Susan Hamilton of the American Red Cross; Monica McGoldrick of the Multicultural Family Institute; JoAnn Difede of Weill Cornell Medical College; Paula A. Madrid of The Resilience Program of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University; and Mary Tramontin of Disaster Mental Health Services of the American Red Cross.

Workshop topics include “Legacies of Traumatic Loss: Clinical Implications,” “Treatment for Trauma and Trauma Survivors,” “Fostering Resilience and Understanding Traumatized Children,” “Promoting Compassion Satisfaction and Preventing Compassion Fatigue” and “Psychological First-Aid.”

“Although the impact of 9/11 was felt throughout America and the world, many of those most directly impacted live in the seven counties comprising the Mid Hudson Valley,” said Freeman. “The annual IDMH Conference will be of particular interest to those providing help and support to families impacted by that event.”

Founded in 2004, the IDMH at SUNY New Paltz prepares students, community members, paraprofessionals and professionals in the helping fields to care for others following a disaster through evidence-informed disaster mental health interventions, contents and skills.

Advance registration is $25 and on-site registration as seating allows the day of the conference is $35. Lunch and hot beverages are included in the fee.

For more information or to register, call IDMH at (845) 257-3477. Visit the IDMH Web site for more information at