Who will step up to meet the challenge of the next rural crisis? Rural practice presents important yet challenging issues for psychology, especially given uneven population distribution, high levels of need, limited availability of rural services, and ongoing migration to urban centers. It is critical that mental health professionals and first responders in rural areas become aware of recent research, training and approaches to crisis intervention, traumatology, compassion ...
Who will step up to meet the challenge of the next rural crisis?
Rural practice presents important yet challenging issues for psychology, especially given uneven population distribution, high levels of need, limited availability of rural services, and ongoing migration to urban centers. It is critical that mental health professionals and first responders in rural areas become aware of recent research, training and approaches to crisis intervention, traumatology, compassion fatigue, disaster mental health, critical incident stress management, post-traumatic stress and related areas in rural environments. Critical issues facing rural areas include:
# Physical issues such as land, air, and water resources, cheap food policy, chemicals and pesticides, animal rights, corruption in food marketing and distribution, and land appropriation for energy development.
# Quality of life issues such as rural America's declining share of national wealth, problems of hunger, education, and rural poverty among rural populations of farmers and ranchers.
# Direct service issues include the need to accommodate a wide variety of mental health difficulties, client privacy and boundaries, and practical challenges.
# Indirect service issues include the greater need for diverse professional activities, collaborative work with professionals having different orientations and beliefs, program development and evaluation, and conducting research with few mentors or peer collaborators.
# Professional training and development issues include lack of specialized relevant courses and placements.
# Personal issues include limited opportunities for recreation, culture, and lack of privacy.
Doherty's first volume in this new series Crisis in the American Heartland explores these and many other issues. Social Science: Disasters & Disaster Relief
For more information please visit www.RMRInstitute.org
George Doherty resides in Laramie, WY where he founded the Rocky Mountain
Region Disaster Mental Health Institute, Inc. He is currently employed as the
President/CEO of this organization and also serves as Clinical Coordinator of the
Snowy Range Critical Incident Stress Management Team.
He has been involved with disaster relief since 1995, serving as a Disaster Mental
Health Specialist with such incidents as the UP train wreck in Laramie, Hurricane
Fran in North Carolina, the Cincinnati floods in Falmouth, KY and Tropical Storm
Allison in Southeast Texas. He served as Supervisor for Disaster Mental Health for
flash floods in Ft. Collins, and spent a month as the Red Cross Disaster Mental
Health Coordinator for western Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane George.
He has also published numerous articles in disaster mental health and traumatic
stress publications and served as Guest Editor for two Special Editions of the
journal Traumatology (1999 & 2004).
He served as an officer in the US Air Force and was an OTS instructor, squadron
commander and other positions. Additionally, he served 11 years involved in Air
Search & Rescue with Civil Air Patrol (US Air Force Auxiliary) in WY as Squadron
Commander, Deputy Wing Commander, Air Operations Officer, and Master
Observer. He is a Certified Instructor with the Wyoming Peace Officers Standards
and Training (POST).
He has extensive experience conducting CISM debriefings with first responders
and others and is a member of a national crisis care network, providing assistance
to companies and other organizations following critical incidents involving sudden
deaths and similar traumatic events.
He is a Licensed Professional Counselor in private practice and has been an
adjunct instructor for a number of colleges, including Northern Nevada Community
College and the University of Wyoming. Organizational memberships
include the American Counseling Association, Voting Associate Member of the
American Psychological Association, American Academy of Experts in Traumatic
Stress (AETS), Association of Traumatic Stress Specialists (ATSS), Traumatic
Incident Reduction Association (TIRA), Certificate of Specialized Training in the
field of Mass Disaster and Terrorism,