The IASC Guidelines and the International Disaster Psychology Program at the University of Denver

Barrett, T., Fox, J., Shriberg, J., Aden, K., Eich, W., & Wolfe, A. (2011). The IASC Guidelines and the International Disaster Psychology Program at the University of Denver. Intervention, 9(2), 159-163.

There is a growing recognition of the significant psychological and psychosocial damage caused by natural and manmade disasters. This phenomenon has increased the demand for trained professionals with the necessary skills to address these problems, in diverse populations around the world. The Masters of Arts International Disaster Psychology (MAIPD) programme in the Graduate School of Professional Psychology was developed in order to help to meet this increased demand for professionals, required to work in the field of disaster psychology and emergency management within the United States, and around the world. The Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Guidelines on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings (2007) are extensively utilised in this programme. The guidelines provide practical approaches for addressing psychosocial problems in (post)disaster settings, and provide a framework for developing plans and intervention strategies. This article examines the use of the IASC guidelines in an academic setting, and discusses a case example of how the IASC guidelines were utilised by MAIDP students working in Panama. This critical evaluation aims to provide practical information in order to assist faculty, students and practitioners preparing to work in (post)disaster settings.

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