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MU releases tools for natural disasters


Recent flooding in Missouri turned deadly and left many homes and businesses submerged in overflowing rivers. Hundreds of people were evacuated as many of their homes were under water. Often, children are the most vulnerable in natural disasters and require assistance and support long after they are affected. The Disaster and Community Crisis Center (DCC) at the University of Missouri is developing tools that can help children and youth affected during this disaster as well as future events. Recently, the program released animated, online disaster preparedness videos that will aid teachers and counselors who work with school-aged children about staying calm, problem-solving and coping in emergencies and natural disasters.

DCC is primarily funded through a 4 year, $2.4 million grant from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative. As a National Child Traumatic Stress Network member, DCC develops resources and products that address behavioral and mental health issues, resilience and coping skills — especially after a traumatic event such as a natural or human-caused disaster.

DCC collaborates with local and statewide partners, like the Ozark Center in Joplin, Mo., which DCC worked with to assess the long term needs in the community after a devastating tornado in 2011. A report of this assessment, “2011 Joplin, Missouri Tornado Experience, Mental Health Reactions, and Service Utilization: Cross-Sectional Assessments at Approximately 6 Months and 2.5 Years Post-Event” was published inPLOS Currents Disasters in 2015. Additionally, DCC has worked with the Children’s Advocacy Center in St. Louis to train Ferguson-Florissant and St. Louis teachers and counselors to use the Resilience and Coping Intervention following the community protests that occurred after the shooting of Michael Brown.

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Campus: UMC
Key words: Health, MU Campus, Teaching,
County: Boone

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