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Supporting community mental health following disaster

Primary health care providers supporting community mental health following disasters
Facilitated by:
Primary Health Tasmania
Phoenix Australia – National Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health
Dr John Cooper – Phoenix Australia, Consultant Psychiatrist
Alex Howard – Phoenix Australia, Director of Disasters and Public Health Emergencies
Date and time:
Tuesday 28 November 2023 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Online via Zoom
Primary care providers working in the following LGAs: Break O’Day, Burnie, Central Coast, Central Highlands, Circular Head, Devonport, Dorset, Flinders, George Town, Glamorgan-Spring Bay, Kentish, Latrobe, Launceston, Meander Valley, Northern Midlands, Waratah-Wynyard, West Coast and West Tamar.

Join us for an education and training event aimed at building the knowledge providers need to support people who experience stress, trauma, and adversity resulting from disasters. By participating in this webinar, you will increase your knowledge of the mental health impacts of disaster, better understand your role in disaster recovery, and familiarise yourself with strategies for supporting individuals and the broader community following disaster, including Psychological First Aid.   

This is a CPD accredited activity.

This webinar is the first in our disaster-related training series. Following the event, you will be provided with access to practical online resources which can be completed explored at your own pace and used during your work following disasters. You will also be invited to participate in one of four regional face-to-face workshops scheduled for early 2024 which are designed to extend your skills in supporting disaster-impacted individuals and communities. 

Topics covered in this event are: 

  • Define disasters
  • Describe mental health impacts of disasters, including compounding disasters
  • Select actions to mitigate the mental health impacts at individual and community levels
  • Outline self-care strategies to maintain their own mental health when supporting others in disaster
  • Identify further education and training opportunities, including videos and ‘disaster toolkits’ that align with or extend on content addressed in the webinar.

Speaker information: 

Alex Howard, Director of Disasters and Public Health Emergencies, Phoenix Australia 

Alex Howard is a clinical psychologist and public health practitioner, who has worked in the field of disaster and posttraumatic mental health for more than 10 years. Her expertise lies in translating and implementing best practice mental health and psychosocial support approaches to ensure government, organisations, workforces and communities are equipped to prepare, respond and recover from disaster. She has worked with primary care, mental health, emergency service and military personnel, community organisations, and other disaster relief organisations. Alex is also a member of the Beyond Disasters Advisory Group and Asia Pacific Disaster Mental Health Network and has most recently provided disaster mental health advice to the Australian International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the Australian Psychological Society. She has published in the field of posttraumatic mental health, studied prospective implementation of the National Disaster Mental Health and Wellbeing Framework and has presented her work at national and international conferences. 

Dr John Cooper, Consultant Psychiatrist, Phoenix Australia 

John Cooper is a Consultant Psychiatrist who has worked part time at Phoenix Australia since 1999, providing psychiatry expertise across the policy and service development, training and education, and research domains. During this same period, John has held senior clinical and advisory positions in posttraumatic mental health at Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital and Open Arms – Veterans & Families Counselling (formerly VVCS), as well as maintaining a busy private practice specialising in the treatment of posttraumatic mental health problems. John’s particular expertise is in veterans’ mental health, assessment, pharmacotherapy, and service development. Recently, John has moved much of his clinical work into youth and community clinical settings where high rates of posttraumatic mental health disorders impact upon all aspects of patient care.