Institute for Public Health Practice at the University of Iowa

Effect of Disasters on Mental Health for Children and Adolescents

This course offers CPH — Free
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Time to Start

3-5 minutes


1.00 hour


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This course covers the following topics: 

  • Risk Factors
  • Psychological First Aid for Children and Adolescents
  • What Parents Can Do to Help
  • Common Reactions of Children and Adolescents to Traumatic Stress
  • Pathological Reactions of Children and Adolescents to Traumatic Stress
  • Treatment Options

Throughout the course, you will have the opportunity to participate in a scenario-based activity, in which you will apply the knowledge you have attained.

Reviewers say, "Course is well designed. Easy to use."

What You'll Learn

  • Recognize the risk factors involved for a child or adolescent developing mental health problems as a result of exposure to disaster
  • Recognize symptoms of acute psychological distress in children or adolescents
  • Administer ”psychological first aid” to children and adolescents to provide them with stabilization during and in the immediate aftermath of a traumatic event
  • Describe how 4 major components in the psycho-physiological response to trauma (somatic, emotional, behavioral, and cognitive) manifest themselves in pre-school children, older children, and adolescents
  • Advise parents/caregivers what they do to help prevent their child or adolescent from developing mental health problems after a traumatic event
  • Distinguish between a normal and pathological reaction to disaster trauma in children and adolescents
  • Discuss treatment options for children and adolescents who develop mental health disorders

Competency Terms

Emergency Preparedness and Response (all hazards)
Maternal Child Family Health
Cultural Competency Skills
Cultural Influence on Policies, Programs, & Services
Policy, Program, & Service Impacts

Related Occupations

Behavioral Health Professional
Community Health Worker
Health Educator
Home Health Worker
Medical Examiner
Other - Schools
Other Management & Leadership
Other Professional
Other Registered Nurse-Clinical Services
Public health - multiple occupations will benefit
Registered Nurse - Unspecified
Social Services Counselor
Social Worker
Student - Professional & Scientific

Related Job Tasks

Inform, educate, and empower people about health concerns
Plan for emergencies
Respond to emergencies
Link clients to needed personal health services and ensure the provision of health care when otherwise unavailable
Deliver direct health services to clients
Perform health or environmental screenings