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Developing Cultural Competence in Disaster Mental Health Programs

Author: Jean Athey, Ph.D., and Jean Moody-Williams, Ph.D.

Course Created: 2003

Practice Level: Beginner to Intermediate

No book to buy Duration: 3 hours
3.5 out of 4.0, Based on: 19 reviews

Course Summary

This course explores the nature of culture and disaster. It begins by defining culturally related terms, discussing diversity within racial and ethnic minority groups, and describing cultural competence. It then discusses cultural competence in the context of disaster mental health services. Next covered are the key concepts of disaster mental health; important considerations when working with people of other cultures; staff attributes, knowledge, and skills essential to the development of cultural competence; and a cultural competence self-assessment for disaster crisis counseling programs. The last section provides suggestions for working with refugees and guidelines for using interpreters.

Course Format

This course contains downloadable online lessons (PDF or Word) and a practice test. When you're ready, purchase the course by clicking the "Add To Cart" button. This will let you take the test, complete the course evaluation and receive your certificate for CE credits.

Course Syllabus

  1. Culture and Disaster
  2. Understanding Culture
  3. Diversity Among and Within Racial and Ethnic Minority Groups
  4. Cultural Competence: Scope and Terminology
  5. The Cultural Competence Continuum
  6. Cultural Competence and Disaster Mental Health Services
  7. Disaster Phases and Responses
  8. Cultural Competence and Disaster Mental Health Planning
  9. Principles and Recommendations

Learning Objectives

  • Explain the interaction between culture and disaster.
  • Explain the concept of cultural competence.
  • Explain disaster mental health.
  • Describe working with refugees.


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