Mental Health in a Time of Crisis.
Framing the Issue
Data and What We Know
Interventions and Approaches to Mitigate Consequences
Resilience After Disasters and How to Talk to Children
The COVID-19 pandemic, like other traumatic events, can have a substantial impact on the mental health of populations. This mental health response is shaped both by the disease itself and by its economic and social consequences. It can shape mental health for months and years to come, long after the pandemic has passed. This seminar will discuss the state-of-the-science about mental health after large scale events and potential approaches to mitigate adverse mental health consequences.
4 p.m. – 4:05 p.m.
Sandro Galea (@sandrogalea), Dean and Robert A. Knox Professor, Boston University School of Public Health
4:05 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.
FRAMING THE ISSUE
Karestan Koenen (@KarestanKoenen), Professor of Psychiatric Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Dr. Koenen’s research focus is three-fold. First, she studies why some people develop PTSD and related mental and physical health problems and why some people are resilient when exposed to similar traumatic events. Dr. Koenen is a co-principal investigator on the NIMH-funded AURORA study, led by Dr. Samuel McLean with Drs. Ronald Kessler and Kerry Ressler. Dr. Koenen also co-leads the PTSD working group of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium, which aims to identify genetic variants that increase risk and resilience following trauma exposure. Second, she investigates how violence, trauma, and PTSD alter long-term physical health and accelerate aging. Much of this work is done in collaboration with the Nurses’ Health Study. Third, she aims to expand access to evidence-based mental health treatment for survivors of violence and trauma. To this end, she co-wrote the book, Treating Survivors of Childhood Abuse: Psychotherapy for the Interrupted Life with Drs. Marylene Cloitre and Lisa Cohen.
Dr. Koenen leads the NIMH-funded Training Program in Psychiatric Epidemiology and Biostatistics (T32) and the Interdisciplinary Concentration in Population Mental Health. She also advises masters and doctoral degree students in the Departments of Epidemiology and Social Behavioral Sciences. In addition, Dr. Koenen leads the Trauma Epidemiology and Population Mental Health Research Group for her students and post-doctoral fellows. The group is primarily a forum for trainees and junior investigators to present and receive feedback on work-in-progress, but also includes presentations on advanced research methodology and career development.
Dr. Koenen advocates for survivors of violence and trauma. In May 2011, Dr. Koenen testified before the House Foreign Affairs Full Committee about the epidemic of sexual violence and victim blaming culture of the Peace Corps. She has written for the Boston Globe, the Washington Post, the Huffington Post, and the Women’s Media Center’s Women Under Siege Project, which investigates how rape and other forms of sexualized violence are used as tools in conflict. Dr. Koenen also consulted on the documentary, It Happened Here, which examined the epidemic of sexual assault on university campuses. In addition, Dr. Koenen speaks to lay audiences about the latest scientific findings around violence and trauma.
4:15 p.m. – 4:25 p.m.
DATA AND WHAT WE KNOW
Sarah Lowe (@YaleMed), Assistant Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Yale School of Public Health
4:25 p.m. – 4:35 p.m.
INTERVENTIONS AND APPROACHES TO MITIGATE CONSEQUENCES
Patricia Watson (@GeiselMed), Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine, and Senior Educational Specialist, National Center for PTSD
She is co-author of the Psychological First Aid (PFA) Field Guide and the Skills for Psychological Recovery (SPR) Manual, produced by the National Center for PTSD and the National Child Traumatic Stress Network.
She is also a co-author of the Combat Operational Stress First Aid (COSFA) Field Guide, produced by the Department of Defense, the Defense Centers for Excellence, and the National Center for PTSD, and the Stress First Aid and Curbside Manner manuals for fire and rescue personnel, produced by the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.
She has additionally co-edited three books on disaster behavioral health interventions, numerous articles on resilience and early intervention, SAMHSA guidance documents, and articles and chapters on disaster mental health, resilience, combat and operational stress, and pandemic flu.
4:35 p.m. – 5 p.m.
MODERATED DISCUSSION AND Q&A
Moderator: Sandro Galea (@sandrogalea), Dean and Robert A. Knox Professor, Boston University School of Public Health
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