Effect of Disasters on Mental Health: Awareness Level

Category: Psychological Disorders

Course Summary

There are three sections in this course:

  • Section 1: Disaster, Trauma and Proximity to the Event
  • Section 2: Psycho-Physiology of Trauma and Fear
  • Section 3: Tools for Understanding

There are review questions at the end of modules. These review questions will provide you with an opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills presented in these modules. In addition, some modules contain practice exercises to help you better understand the material.

Intended Audience

anyone who will come into professional contact with disaster victims, including DMAT, hospital workers, EMTs, primary care providers and public health workers

Learning Objectives:

After successfully completing this course, you will be able to:

  • Define disaster
  • Define trauma
  • Describe how proximity to the event affects the potential for traumatic response
  • Describe the triune brain and how each part of it functions during a traumatic event
  • Describe automatic response to trauma: flight or fight, freeze, social engagement
  • Describe 4 major components in the psycho-physiological response to trauma: somatic, emotional, behavioral, and cognitive
  • Describe the epidemiological triangle in relation to the effect of disasters on mental health
  • Describe how various elements of the “agent”, “host” and “environment” of a disaster impacts its effect on the mental health of its victims
  • Analyze a disaster and its effect on victims using the epidemiological triangle
  • Describe the use of the Haddon Matrix in prevention, mitigation and intervention of disasters and their effect on mental health


Pre-requisites/Learning Level

No pre-requisites

Competencies addressed

Core Competencies for Public Health Professionals identified

Domain 4: Cultural Competence Skills

  • 4A3. Describe the ways diversity may influence policies, programs, services, and health of a community
  • 4A5. Addresses the diversity of individuals and populations when implementing policies, programs, and services that affect the health of a community

CEUs Offered





Online Self-Pace


1 hour

Presenter(s) and/or Content Experts


Technical requirements:

  • Adobe Acrobat Reader 
  • Flash Player 
  • Speakers

Registration requirements

Register a free account

Creation and/or update

January 2022