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“Lessons Learned from Counseling in Chaos”

Published: 9/13/2019

For More Information Contact:

A. K. Vaidian, MD, MPH, Commissioner  (845) 486-3432

In recognition of September as Preparedness Month, the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) of Dutchess County will host a lecture by Disaster Mental Health expert Dr. James Halpern entitled Disaster Mental Health Case Studies: Lessons Learned from Counseling in Chaos. Those who have seen Dr. Halpern speak before know this will be a rare and compelling view into the challenges, tragedies, pain, frustrations, and grief at the heart of disaster mental health work. The event will take place on Thursday, September 26th at 6pm at the Department of Emergency Response, 392 Creek Rd in Poughkeepsie. 

James Halpern, Ph.D. is a Professor emeritus of Psychology and Counseling and founding Director of the Institute for Disaster Mental Health at The State University of New York at New Paltz. Dr. Halpern will present an overview of a variety of past disasters including Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, the OKC bombing, September 11th Attacks, shootings at Sandy Hook and the Pulse Nightclub. He will discuss how responders deal with the stress of anticipating and participating in the response, how they work in traditional and nontraditional settings as well as best practices for working with disaster survivors and first responders.  

Dr. Halpern has been a Red Cross volunteer for 20 years, and currently serves on the Mid-Hudson Valley Chapter’s Board of Directors. He will be signing copies of his latest book after the lecture and all sales proceeds will go to the American Red Cross of the Mid-Hudson Valley.  

The Medical Reserve Corps of Dutchess County is part of a national network of more than 200,000 volunteers dedicated to supporting public health infrastructure as well as disaster preparedness and response in the community.  Both medical professionals and non-medical volunteers are needed.

Register by emailing  For information on upcoming trainings, visit

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