WSPA Disaster Resource Network (DRN)

WSPA's Disaster Resource Network (DRN) is building a community of psychologists committed to humanitarian and clinical involvements during times of human-made and natural disasters. 

Key Functions

  1. Establish an on-line database of WSPA DRN members that identifies their expertise, interests, experience, and geographic location.
  2. Provide DRN trainings and opportunities for our members and the community via workshops, online courses, and links to relevant trauma, PTSD, complicated grief, loss and other conferences and trainings related to COVID-19 and its far reaching psychological and behavioral effects.
  3. Continue to foster viable partnerships with the American Psychological Association's DRN, the Red Cross, PHRC and other local and state agencies
  4. Develop a web-based resource center with articles and publications by our members and other professionals that will be helpful to members and to the general community and public.
  5. Engage our members in sharing their expertise and consulting with other professional, agencies, frontline and essential workers and all those affected by the Covid-19 pandemic via teleconference calls and other venues

Psychologists have had a long standing tradition and commitment to providing humanitarian and psychological support during times of need. With the continuing increase in mass violence, natural disasters and various forms of terrorism there is a growing need to assist those who have been affected by such devastating events. Psychologists have the unique skill set, training and expertise to provide resources, education and trainings. They also provide relief to first responders, survivors, survivors families, and communities that have been affected by a catastrophic events. Although psychologists do not offer therapy at disaster sites, they can help people build upon their own internal strengths to begin the process of recovering from the disaster. As psychologists we can be involved in all aspects of disaster mental health including preparedness, response, and helping communities post-disaster. Click here to learn more about what psychologists do in disaster relief operations.

Our Disaster Resource Network is lead by Debbie Shapiro, Psy.D., a trauma expert with local and national disaster mental health experience. She has a general private practice and is a volunteer of the American Red Cross as well as The Public Reserve Corp and has worked with local and national Disaster Action Teams. In 2017, she deployed to Houston to provide Disaster Mental Health services after Hurricane Harvey.

WSPA is currently partnering with the APA, the American Red Cross, the Public Health Reserve Corp., and are in the process of looking into partnering with other local and state agencies. If you are interested in Disaster Mental Health and joining WSPA's DRN Team, you will need Disaster Mental Health training. Start by taking a free 30-minute Red Cross introductory course, "Disaster Mental Health: Introduction" to see if these activities may be for you. 

Licensed psychologists are eligible to volunteer with the American Red Cross; their eligibility requirements for all mental health professionals can be found by clicking here.

Information about coping with community violence

SAMSHA: Coping with Community Violence Together

WA State Dept. of Health: Guidance for Coping with Civil Disturbance

Information about Helping Refugees, (including Afghan and other ethnicities)

Coping with Current Events in Afghanistan (Helping veterans who served in Afghanistan)

Office of Refugee and Immigration Assistance (News from Washington's Office of Refugee and Immigration Assistance)

State Strategies to Support Afghan Evacuees in Accessing Health Coverage (A webinar that provides an overview of eligibility standards for evacuees)

Emotional Wellness and Support Programs for Individuals from Afghanistan

Resources about the War in Ukraine

WHO Special Initiative for Mental Health - Situational Assessment

IFRC Emergencies

Ukraine and impacted countries crisis

Red Cross Ukraine Press Releases

Red Cross providing life-saving assistance for hundreds of thousands displaced from Ukraine

Ukraine emergency for situation reports 


Guidelines on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support – International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

IASC Reference Group on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings 

Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Humanitarian response in Ukraine and neighbouring countries

How to Deepen Our Compassion for Refugees

Talking to Children about War

Psychological First Aid for Displaced Children and Families

Traumatic Separation and Refugee and Immigrant Children: Tips for Current Caregivers

Information for First Responders on Emotional Reactions to Human Bodies in Mass Death

Hungary: the importance of mental health and psychosocial support to refugees and displaced people – one mother‘s story of a life upended through the Ukraine war

Addressing the mental health needs of civilian combatants in Ukraine

Poland: Understanding the mental health and psychosocial needs of Ukraine‘s refugees – Olga‘s story

Disaster Preparedness Relief and Response, Resources and Information

Public & Professional information on Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Public information on natural disasters

If you are feeling overwhelmed, or need to talk to someone:

Washington Recovery Helpline
1-866-789-1511 to speak with a specialist 24 hours/365 days a year

List of Washington State County Crisis Help Lines

More resources on treatment/help programs 

Guide to Adjusting to Change this Holiday Season
Click the above image for links on adjusting to change this holiday season.