Organization: Healing Among Chaos
- Heather Cook
- Matthew McGuire, Aurora Mental Health Center
- Lisa R. LaDue, National Mass Fatalities Institute
- Lynn Garst, Colorado Office of Emergency Preparedness and Response
Disasters are complex. The human psyche is even more complex. An individual’s experience of a disaster is personal, collective and nuanced. Psychological well-being in the disaster world is often described using two key words: trauma and resilience. This session will examine sociological and psychological factors that influence these juxtaposed concepts, as well as the topics of vulnerability and uncertainty. Even more notably, the intention of this session is to expand the conversation beyond the mental health field to the larger understanding of the human perspective of disaster. In the most fundamental way, almost all objectives in risk and emergency management boil down to preventing, mitigating or responding to human suffering. Disasters often create a heightened sense and focused awareness of the human experience itself. In disasters, the interplay of the physical environment on an individual’s internal, psychological landscape is readily brought to the forefront.