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Vicarious Trauma in Catastrophic Events: From the Perspective of Mental Health Providers at Various Phases of a Disaster

Activity Type:

  • On Demand

Release Date: 8/20/2015

Expiration Date: 8/20/2018

  • AMA PRA Category 1 Physician: 2
  • Participation: 2

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Floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, acts of terrorism and other large-scale catastrophic events have increased in the last decade and emergency preparedness and disaster resilience have become a national imperative. Mental health professionals play many important roles in helping communities prepare and respond to disasters. What happens when mental health providers share the trauma and vulnerability from the toll taken by a disaster with the victims they care for? How can clinicians increase resilience during various phases of a disaster and provide mental health services effectively?

**This content was captured at the 2014 APA Annual Meeting


  • General Member - $25.00
  • Resident-Fellow Member - Free
  • Medical Student Member - $25.00
  • Non-Member - $50.00

Educational Objectives

  • Describe Vicarious Trauma and related concepts in the setting of large scale disasters
  • Recognize disaster stage-specific strategies and interventions to prevent Vicarious Trauma and promote resilience in mental health clinicians on an individual and organizational level
  • Identify opportunities for further empirical validation of Vicarious Trauma in the context of massive disasters to inform best practices and shape policy and programs in disaster planning

Target Audience

Residents/Fellows and Psychiatrists

Estimated Time to Complete

2 Hours

How to Earn Credit

Participants who wish to earn AMA PRA Category 1 Credit ™ or a certificate of participation may do so by completing all sections of the course including the evaluation. A multiple choice quiz is provided based on the content. A passing score of 60% must be achieved. Retakes are available for the test. After evaluating the program, course participants will be provided with an opportunity to claim hours of participation and print an official CME certificate showing the date of completion and hours earned. 


The American Psychiatric Association (APA) is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The APA designates this enduring material for a maximum of 2 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Faculty and Planner Disclosures


  • Gertie Quitangon, M.D., New York University | Disclosure:Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests


  • Shane S. Spicer, M.D., Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center | Disclosure: Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests
  • Jeremy Winell, M.D., Beth Israel Comprehensive Cancer Center | Disclosure: Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests
  • April Naturale, Ph.D., ICF International | Disclosure: Stock/Other financial relationship - Glaxo Pharmaceuticals | Other - Employee of ICF International (consulting company) Grant/Research: From CDC for World Trade Center Health Program
  • Mark R. Evces, Ph.D., NYU School of Medicine WTC Health Program Clinical Center of Excellence | Disclosure: Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests

Program Planners:

  • Tristan Gorrindo, M.D., Director of Education, American Psychiatric Association | Disclsoure: Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests
  • Ricardo Juarez, Associate Director, Office of International Affairs, American Psychiatric Association | Disclosure: Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests

Hardware/Software Requirements

Hardware/Software Specifications:
This internet-based CME activity is best experienced using Internet Explorer 8+, Mozilla Firefox 3+, Safari 4+. This Web site requires that JavaScript and session cookies be enabled. Certain activities may require additional software to view multimedia, presentation, or printable versions of the content. These activities will be marked as such and will provide links to the required software. That software may be: Adobe Flash, Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Windows Media Player.

Optimal System Configuration:
Flash Player: Adobe Flash Player 10.1+
Browser: Firefox 3+, Internet Explorer 8.0+, Safari 4.0+, or Google Chrome 7.0+
Operating System: Windows XP+ or Mac OS X 10.4+
Internet Connection: 1 Mbps or higher

Minimum Requirements:
Windows PC:
500-MHz Pentium II; Windows XP or higher; 128 MB RAM; Video Card at least 64MB of video memory; Sound Card at least 16-bit; Macromedia Flash Player 10 or higher, audio playback with speakers for programs with video content; Firefox 1.1+, Internet Explorer 7.0+, Safari 1.0+, Google Chrome, or Opera
Mac OS X 10.3 or higher with latest updates installed; 1.83MHz Intel Core Duo or faster; RAM: 128MB or more; Video Card: at least 64MB of video memory; Sound Card: at least 16-bit

For assistance: Contact for questions about this course | Contact for technical assistance

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