DPO volunteers traveled to the effected areas providing training, direct care, public education and book grants.
Japanese Tsunami and Nuclear Disaster
Working with the Japanese Mental Health Association of New York, which provided translators, DPO developed training materials that were disseminated online to mental health professionals in Japan. The website received over 1,300 unique visits the first two months they were available.
DPO provided a full day of training mental health professionals visiting from the Fukushima Prefecture, location of the disaster’s epicenter.
Topics included dealing with the aftermath of the 2011 tsunami as well as preparation for the acute phase of possible future disasters.
DPO volunteers trained nursing students in Leogane to provide mental health care to patients and self-care to themselves.
Maersk Alabama Hijacking
DPO psychiatrists traveled to Kenya to assist crew members rescued from the ship Maersk Alabama, which was hijacked by Somali pirates.
Teams travelled to Baton Rouge to work with victims of Hurricane Katrina. Working in temporary shelters, they were able to provide medications and a structured environment to displaced individuals struggling with mental illness.
Tsunami – Sri Lanka
Three teams, including psychiatrists who were familiar with the local language and culture, travelled to Sri Lanka in the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami. Working with community leaders, health care providers, and teachers, they trained over 150 people and counseled hundreds more.
In the immediate aftermath of the attacks, volunteers walked the “Pit” at Ground Zero to offer support to the rescue and relief workers, police, and firefighters who were there. Other volunteers staffed the Family Assistance Center, where they worked with individuals in need of assistance. Child and adolescent psychiatrists organized a “Kid’s Corner” which served dozens of children and parents each day. A total of 45 volunteer psychiatrists assisted over 3,000 adults and children.
Through 2007, in collaboration with the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, DPO volunteers offered ongoing mental health to 13,500 survivors and ground zero workers.