Hurricane Sandy, Volunteers Needed

DPO Appeal for Mental Health Volunteers

Disaster Psychiatry Outreach (DPO) is seeking volunteers to participate in the Hurricane Sandy mental health relief efforts. We are coordinating with Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), American Red Cross and other volunteer organizations actively engaged in this response.

To become an “active” volunteer on behalf of the DPO, all volunteers MUST complete the following:

  1. All volunteers MUST complete the DPO Volunteer Information Worksheet.
  2. All volunteers MUST have completed the DPO Certification Training for Mental Health Volunteers. Our initial training was free to provider but a small fee to offset administrative costs will be posted shortly.  (This fee can be waved for trainees and other special circumstances).
  3. All volunteers should expect to be deployed to a mental health disaster facility/location as early as 2-8 days of completing the DPO Certification Training during this response – our primary needs are likely to be at the Staten Island and Breezy Point NYC Restoration Centers.
  4. If you have volunteered for DPO in the past and have completed the DPO Certification Training for Mental Health Volunteers, please with your name, name of disaster, location to where you were deployed and the scope of your volunteer service. You MUST update your information by completing the DPO Volunteer Information Worksheet before DPO can deploy you to a Hurricane Sandy relief site.
  5. DPO suggests the following for volunteers concerned about liability insurance:
  • Volunteers should inquire with their current Malpractice/Liability insurance carrier or employer as to their guidelines pertaining to volunteer work – most private insurances either already cover this type of work or will be satisfied with the notification.
  • For those volunteers who are not currently covered or have inquired with their carrier and confirmed they are not covered, we suggest NYC Medical Reserve Corp. Please click on the link to learn more

We are actively updating our website to reflect these guidelines being implemented within the DPO. In the interim, please to request the DPO Volunteer Information Worksheet, upcoming DPO Certification Training or any further inquires.

Dr. Sander Koyfman
President, Disaster Psychiatry Outreach