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New psychology of religion and disaster applied resources: helping Super Storm Sandy and Sandy Hook Elementary School survivors

A new initiative launched in response to recent disasters.
By Jamie D. Aten, PhD

In response to Super Storm Sandy and the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy, the Humanitarian Disaster Institute (HDI) at Wheaton College has recently released several new applied psychology of religion and disaster resources to assist survivors. Helping Children Cope with Traumatic Events is a booklet that provides practical guidance for caregivers — including parents, family members, teachers, clergy, and volunteers — on how to help support children after a traumatic event. This booklet provides readers with an overview of common reactions to violent acts, including a breakdown “by age” of common signs and symptoms by age. Concrete steps for caring for children’s emotional and spiritual needs in the wake of a traumatic event are also provided. HDI has also launched the Disaster Spiritual and Emotional Care Tip Sheet Series, which includes 15 tip sheets to help address trauma experienced by Super Storm Sandy survivors. Of particular interests to Division 36 members, is a 25 year annotated review of psychology of religion and disaster research. These resources can be downloaded for free from HDI ’s website.

The Humanitarian Disaster Institute (HDI) is the country’s first faith-based academic disaster research center. As a college-wide interdisciplinary research center at Wheaton College, HDI is dedicated to helping equip domestic and international congregations and faith-based organizations to prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters. HDI carries out this mission through applied research, training, and technical support. Further, HDI seeks to conduct translational research that leads to useful tools and resources for a wide range of helpers based on psychology of religion and disaster research.


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