George W. Doherty, an LPC in Wyoming and the president of the Rocky Mountain Region Disaster Mental Health Institute, has put together the most important papers on managing the impact of disasters on the mental health and behavior of people, especially those who provide emergency services during and shortly after disasters. Published by the Rocky Mountain DMH Institute Press (March, 2008), this edition serves the important purpose of exploring the hazardous effects of disasters on human behavior and on family and society at large.
The papers printed in George Doherty’s book deal with the main issue of disaster impact on mental/behavioral health from different angles and with respect to different groups of population. First responders, emergency workers, and soldiers are always at a higher risk of developing mental/behavioral abnormalities that would endanger their individual and family life. But many other categories of people are at a higher risk of suffering from disasters, tourists, for example, who need special measures of security on account of both natural hazards and terrorist traumas. Then there are the senior citizens for whom old age, illness, abusive treatment, and neglect form a constant trauma without any manifest disastrous situation to be noted by mental health institutes. Managing the stress of all these people is inevitable for the definition of a healthy society.
The target audience of George Doherty’s publication is broad: all mental health professionals, disaster management officers, and local policy makers who have anything to do with a better quality of life for the citizens. Some papers would be of great interest to all readers like Jamie Egolf’s Flyboy’s Daughter and John G. Jones’ The Forgotten Trauma Victims: America’s Elderly. Generally, any educated person caring about an improved quality of life can benefit from this publication of the Rocky Mountain Region Disaster Mental Health Institute.