Coping with Trauma and Psychological First Aid for Disaster ...

Coping with Trauma and Psychological First Aid for Disaster ...

7th Annual Tribal Emergency Preparedness Conference 2010 Psychological First Aid: Applications with American Indians September 29, 2010 Grand Mound, WA Randal Beaton, PhD, EMT Research Professor Schools of Nursing and Public Health University of Washington

Faculty, Northwest Center for Public Health Practice Funding Support NIOSH Occupational Health Nurse Training Grant 2 T42 OHO 08433-06 (B. de Castro, Director of OHN Program) HRSA Advanced Nurse Education Training grant #1 D09HP08334-04-00Disaster & Environmental Health Nursing (R. Beaton, PI)

Special Thanks Jason Madrano, Caddo Linda Frizzell, E. Cherokee & Lakota June Strickland, Echota Cherokee Ticey Casey, Siletz and NPAIHB Joe Finkbonner, Lummi and NPAIHB Jay LaPlante, Blackfeet Iris Heavy-Runner Pretty Paint, Blackfeet National Child Traumatic Stress Network Learner Objectives

To identify the intervention principals & core actions of Psychological First Aid. To examine strengths and vulnerabilities of American Indians in the aftermath of a community wide disaster or public health emergency. To propose and analyze culturally

competent applications of Psychological First Aid for American Indian tribes and tribal members. Psychological First Aid (PFA) National Child Traumatic Stress Network www.NCTSN.org National Center for PTSD www.ncptsd.va.gov What is Psychological First Aid?

} This approach to disaster survivors mental health has been adopted by: An evidence-informed psychosocial intervention designed to assist children, adolescents, adults, and families (and tribal members) in the immediate aftermath of disaster .

American Red Cross Medical Reserve Corps Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) Among others Basics of Psychological First Aid Who is it for? Who is it delivered by? When is it intended to be delivered?

Where can it be delivered? Individuals experiencing acute stress reactions or who appear to be at risk for significant impairment (Distressed survivors.) Disaster response workers or others who are trained to provide early assistance. May include public health, emergency management personnel and tribal members. Immediate aftermath usually within the first week A broad range of emergency settings, in either

single or multiple sessions (shelters, community out-reach) How Do We Know How to Respond Following Disasters? Chart Title Customer Disaster Feedback Research Program Evaluation Trauma

Resesarch Experience Expert Consensus Some Basics of Psychological First Aid Early mental health intervention such as PFA needs to be part of any disaster response

Expect a normal recovery Assumes survivors are competent Recognize survivor strengths

Promotes resilience Modular components Can be tailored Cautionary Tales The vast majority (80%+) of disaster and trauma

survivors either recovers naturally (within days, weeks or a few months) or is significantly resilient such that they never develop PTSD or other mental disorders. Some early mental health interventions designed for trauma survivors can potentially make matters worse. First, do no harm Issues of timing and cultural considerations Critical Incident Stress Debriefing Outcomes Some studies have found that for a small minority (~10%) of

trauma survivors Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (CISD) intervention- a type of group agenda therapy- is itself distressing and may potentially interfere with normal recovery. This iatrogenic effect may be due to one inherent feature of CISD re-experiencing the traumatic event too soon (MillerBurke and Fass, 1999) CISD may be appropriate for some occupational cultures such as the fire service but may be inappropriate for others.

Cultural Considerations- Early interventions can be harmful Study of psychoeducational interventions for Burundian civil war survivors (Yeoman et al, 2010). Burundi, a small nonindustrial African nation, suffered a civil war in which over 300,000 individuals mostly non military citizens- were killed. Psychoeducational intervention included information about PTSD including commonly experienced trauma symptoms. Outcome: The group that received the psychoeducational intervention actually reported less of a reduction in trauma symptoms.

Good intentions are not enough Ancient Chinese Fable Quoted in Marsella and Chrisopher (2004) A monkey and a fish were caught in a terrible flood and were being swept downstream by torrents of water and debris. The monkey spied a branch from an overhanging tree and pulled himself to safety from the flood waters. Then, wanting to help his friend the fish, he reached into the water and pulled the fish from

the water onto the branch monkey fish Good intentions are not enough Moral of the story monkey Good intentions are not enough. If you wish to help the fish,

you must understand the culture. fish Five Empirically-Supported Early Intervention Principles Hope Safety Self-Efficacy Calming

Connectedness Promotion of Psychological Sense of Safety Safety First Reduces biological aspects of traumatic stress reactions Positively affects thoughts that inhibit recovery

Promotion of Calming Reduces anxiety, high arousal, numbing, or strong emotions Supports better: Sleep Eating Decision-making Performance of life tasks May reduce the probability of long-term psychological difficulties

Promotion of Self-Efficacy Encourage disaster survivors to play an active role in their own recovery Increases peoples beliefs about their capabilities Increases self-control of thought, emotions, and behavior

Promotion of Connectedness Related to better emotional well-being and recovery Provides opportunities for: Information about resources Practical problem-solving Emotional understanding Sharing of experiences Normalization of reactions and experiences Sharing of ways of coping

Instilling Hope Favorable outcomes are associated with: Optimism Positive expectancy A feeling of confidence in life and/or self Strong faith-based beliefs Historical Trauma Soul Wound Historical Trauma of American Indians

which has occurred over a span of 500 years resulting in collective emotional injury over life spans & across generations (Yellow Horse Brave Heart & DeBruyn, 1998) Included genocide, place loss, ethnic cleansing and forced acculturation resulting in unresolved grief and anger (Whitbeck et al, 2004) A vulnerability and risk factor for PTSD

Other Risk Factors for Trauma Outcomes for American Indians and Tribes There are a variety of proximal stressors and traumatic events to which many American Indian tribes and tribal members are routinely exposed including: lack of resources Poverty social substance use disorders injusticecultural disruption

mental or physical health problems These are also risk factors for adverse trauma outcomes. Ethnoracial Trauma Research with American Indians Some research findings suggest that American Indians may have higher rates of PTSD than whites and the highest cumulative burden of past trauma (compared to whites, Latinos and Asians)

But study samples may not be representative of tribal members. Ethnoracial research (cont.) One recent published study (Stephens et al, 2010) found higher rates of PTSD and prior trauma burden in American Indian (n=81) survivors of traumatic injuries. But few of these Harborview Medical Center trauma patients resided on tribal lands and most were mixed white and American Indians. History or current PTSD and prior trauma exposures

are considered risk factors for the onset and progression of PTSD to a novel traumatic event. Provides an additional rationale for the provision of culturally competent PFA in the aftermath of a disaster for American Indians. Trauma Prevention Epidemiological studies of PTSD in children and adults also provide a rationale for trauma prevention Research has shown that prior traumatic events for example in children who lived in New York city nearby

the Twin Towers on 9/11 increased the likelihood of PTSD in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks. (Hooven et al, 2005) Thus, efforts to reduce traumatic outcomes following a disaster should include efforts to prevent traumatic events in childrensuch as child abuse and neglect and in adults such as suicide and domestic violence. (Beaton et al, 2009) { Differences between American Indian and Outside

culturemany are strengths In the Face of Disaster (Mandano and Strickland) } 1. Children granted same degree of respect as adults. 2. Harmony with the environment and nature 3. Generosity and sharing; contributions to the group 4. Present-oriented (time); not future (implications for preparedness and prevent efforts) may be less likely to dwell of past events or negative outcomes in the future. Also may mean less likely to prepare for future unknown events such as disasters.

NWTEMC Northwest Tribal Emergency Management Council: Building Systems Through Partnerships American Indian Values and Culture ---differences (cont.) Respect for elders respect wisdom

storytelling oral traditions spiritual harmony US (non-Indian) Generation gap { } Want my Advice? Um, Not Really. 82% of 18-29 y.o.s and 79% of those 30-79 believe there is a

generation gap (Pew Research Center Poll) major difference in the point of view of younger and older people today. Differences in perspective, work ethnic and technology Twenty-something quote: If I want to learn how to tie a tie, change a diaper, mix a drink or cook a lobster I log onto YouTube and find a video I dont call mom and dad. American Indian culture and philosophy differences (c0ntinued) Respect for traditional lifestyle and teachings Healing (balance) vs. curing (fighting)

e.g., herbal medicine vs. chemotherapy Centrality of spiritual beliefs and faith The Whites talk of mind, body and spirit. For us everything is spiritual from the time we get up until we go to bed. (Annie Kahn, Navajo healer quoted in Peate and Mullins, 2008) Iris HeavyRunner PrettyPaints Worldview Philosophy(2003) Lens through which we learn to nurture, protect and dream Used with permission of Iris HeavyRunner Pretty Paint

Stories and other tribal resources as well as some empirical data are now available to guide suggestions for coping with trauma in American Indians. Importance of tribal cultural traditions in building community resilience Importance of ceremony and ritual - the drums, the colors Importance of tribal connectedness and cohesion through song, dance Importance of native art as therapy

Skokomish Tribe Baskets, beads and other examples of NW tribal art Importance of Nature in American Indian Culture and Coping Wild Tiger lilies Johnson Ridge and Scorpion MountainCentral Cascades. Sacred Places

Siletz Medicine Rock Importance of nature and resources Siletz hatchery The Journey 2010 Puget Sound canoe journeys promote tribal cohesion & sense of community

cohesion community Integrating PFA with American Indian Tribal Traditions and Culture Disclaimer- Over 500 recognized tribes in North America with a multitude of beliefs, cultures and traditions Even among the NW tribes there are many, many differences as well as similarities Will attempt to identify and incorporate areas of tribal similarity, though some examples may be specific to a

particular tribe. PFA Principle: SafetyAmerican Indian Application Identify a location on tribal land likely to be safe and secure following a disaster This may be the longhouse or other facility on the tribal land such as the tribal health clinic

PFA Principle: Calming American Indian Applications Prayer, song, dance and other renewal celebrations can reduce physiological arousal and promote calming Some tribes embrace meditation Sweat lodge These calming rituals can be led by the tribal spiritual leader Northwest Tribal Dance

PFA Principle: Promotion of Individual and Tribal Self-Efficacy This may run counter to some tribal beliefs that the tribe and family are paramount Not necessarily mutually exclusive, each piece of the web must play its part. Perhaps the tribe or family can empower and direct individual tribal members to take action to prepare and to respond to the emergency at hand for the good of the tribe PFA Principle: Connectedness

Application to American Indians This is a real strength of most tribes There is an emotional understanding and sharing of resources amongst tribal members There are common coping strategies that can be relied upon and which connect members of the tribe such as storytelling PFA Principle: Instilling HopeApplication to American Indians Most tribes and tribal members have strong shared spiritual beliefs and faith

The tribal spiritual leader or elder may be consulted to guide the tribe through challenging times and to instill hope Psychological First Aid: Core Actions and Applications with American Indians 1 Contact and Engagement Establish a connection with survivors

in a non-intrusive, compassionate manner. Introduce self and describe role Ask for permission to talk Explain objective Ask about immediate needs PFA Core Action: 1 Contact and Engagement: Application to American Indians Ideally, PFA is provided by a known elder or

other tribal member who respects the tribal member in distress and is trusted Never intrude on another personal space without permission 2 Safety and Comfort Enhance immediate and ongoing safety, and provide physical and emotional comfort.

Are you cold do you need a blanket? PFA Core Action: 2 Safety and comfort Application to American Indians Caring for the immediate safety and comfort of tribal members is basic tenet of Indian way

May be some special needs in a disaster including care of the injured or evacuation to a safe locale. 3 Stabilization Calm and orient emotionally overwhelmed/distraught survivors. PFA Core Action: 3

Stabilization Application to American Indians Some tribal members may be emotionally overwhelmed in the immediate aftermath of a disaster Service to others is the Indian Way

Listen, really listen And talk softly 4 Information Gathering: Current Needs and Concerns Identify immediate needs and concerns, and gather additional information, and tailor PFA interventions.

Nature and severity of experiences Death of a loved one (or family pet) Concerns about the post-disaster circumstances and threat Separation from or concerns about the safety of loved ones Physical illness, mental health conditions, and need for medications Losses incurred as a result of the disaster Extreme feelings of guilt or shame Thoughts about causing harm to self or others Immediate developmental impact Availability of social support Prior alcohol or drug use Prior exposure to trauma and death of loved ones

PFA Core Action: 4 Information Gathering Application to American Indians Tribal member in distress likely known to tribal PFA counselor Need to consider importance of invasive questioning vs respect for privacy of tribal members Privacy and confidentiality are especially

important to maintain in small tribal communities; must be preserved to avoid rumors and gossip 5 Practical Assistance Offer practical help to survivors in addressing immediate needs and concerns. Identify the most immediate need(s)

Clarify the needs Discuss an action plan Act to address the needs PFA Core Action:

5 Practical Assistance Application to American Indians Practical help needed by tribal disaster survivors may be food and shelter It is the Indian way to Always Greet others with an honor song and give them your best food, best

blankets, best places to rest. It is also possible that some tribes and tribal members may need assistance to apply for disaster relief 6 Connection with Social Support Help establish brief or ongoing contacts with primary

support persons or other sources of support, including family members, friends, and community helping resources. PFA Core Action: 6 Connection with Social Support Application to American Indians Efforts to re-connect those who have been separated from their tribe and/or family are paramount.

This is probably the single most important core action of PFA for American Indians (and non-Indians) 7 Information on Coping Provide information about stress reactions and coping to reduce distress and promote adaptive functioning. What is currently known about the unfolding event What is being done to assist them Available services

Post-disaster reactions and how to manage them Self-care and family care Coping Alcohol & substance abuse PFA Core Action: 7 Connection with Social Support Application to American Indians

Most tribal members will want an update on any unfolding disaster Most acute emotional and behavioral reactions in tribal members in the aftermath of a disaster are normal and will abate with time. Important to reassure survivors and, to the degree possible to normalize their trauma symptoms in the immediate aftermath such as fear, disorientation and vivid recollections of the event and nightmares. 8

Linkage with Collaborative Services Links survivors with available services needed at the time or in the future. Provide direct link to additional needed services

What counseling services are available to your tribal members? PFA Core Action: 8 Linkage with Collaborative Services and Agencies Application to American Indians Though tribes may be able to provide many or even most of the needs of members in the

aftermath of a disaster, some non-tribal services or agencies may supplement these services: Local and state departments of health Local, county and state and federal emergency management organizations Possible Indications of a Need for a Referral in both American Indian and Non-Indian An acute medical or serious mental health problem Populations Threat of harm to self or others

Concerns related to the use of alcohol or drugs Cases involving domestic, child, or elder abuse Ongoing difficulties with coping (4 weeks or more after the disaster) Significant developmental concerns about children or adolescents When the survivor asks for a referral Medication evaluation? Preventative Approaches An ounce of prevention is worth a ton of cure. Strategies that can prevent a crisis or emergency

or mitigation strategies that minimize the impact of a disaster are the most important in terms of avoiding the harmful short-term and long-term mental health impacts of trauma Preventive Approaches to Foster Individual & Community Resilience Survival and Red Cross Training learn CRP and basic survival skills Join a community emergency response team

such as CERT or Medical Reserve Corp UW CERT webpage site: http://www.washington.edu/admin/business/oem/cert/ Local Community Emergency Response Teams Shoalwater Bay Tribe CERT Training Three trainings

60 team members Mental health impacts of disasters Important to recognize the multiple impacts of disasters include not only the traumatic events but also: Hardships stemming from loss of residence, loss of community and loss of employment Grief and loss loss of loved ones and/or pets who may have died in the disaster. For many individuals the disaster impacts may not manifest for months following the disaster. In nonIndian culture individuals do not seek counseling for at

least 6 months- 1 year. Mental health impacts of disasters (continued) There are many manifestations of the mental health impacts of disasters in addition to PTSD Depression is perhaps the most common mental health problem encountered following a disaster Anger and acting out are also common post disaster stress pathways with an increased risk of domestic violence as well as child and elder abuse Another common mental health impact is an increase

in alcohol and substance abuse disorders Post Traumatic Growth Trauma therapists and researchers have began to note that some individuals both adults and children-- not only bounce back but grow stronger So called post traumatic growth is marked by increases in selfesteem and compassion, a greater appreciation of the importance of relationships and a deeper sense of spirituality. Trauma survivors may put things into perspective, appreciate each day and feel they can handle even major challenges. It is important to note that some traumatic events may be so

severe that growth is impossible and that not all survivors experience post traumatic Mental health component of Disaster Response Long after a disaster survivors wound has healed Long after a disaster survivors bone fracture has mended, He or she will remember how they were treated by disaster personnel. They will remember if were they were treated in a kind, humane and considerate fashion Survivors will remember if the disaster personnel treated

them and their family with respect and compassion and if they helped the survivors and their families in their struggle to regain hope, purpose and meaning following a disaster In Summary American Indian Tribes and Coping with Trauma and Disaster NW American Indian tribes and individuals and members have a number of protective traditions, rituals and ceremonies as well as other cultural sources of resilience Culturally adapted principles and actions of Psychological

First Aid might also leverage these strengths and assist NW American Indian tribes, families and members to cope and even thrive in the aftermath of disasters

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