Sheila Hamilton on Huffington Post

Read mental health articles by Sheila on Huffington Post.

Addiction Resource raises awareness on the dangers of addiction and helps local communities stay drug-free.

American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT)

The professional association for the field of marriage and family therapy that represents the professional interests of more than 23,000 marriage and family therapists in the United States, Canada, and abroad. Founded in 1942, AAMFT aims to increase understanding, research, and education in the field of marriage and family therapy. The organization conducts a national exam for marriage and family therapists used for licensure in most states.

American Psychiatric Association

Founded in 1844, the American Psychiatric Association is the world’s largest psychiatric organization. It represents over 38,000 psychiatric physicians from the United States and around the world. Members specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of mental and emotional illnesses and substance use disorders.

American Psychological Association (APA)

A scientific and professional organization that represents psychology in the United States. With more than 155,000 members, it is the largest association of psychologists worldwide. Founded in 1892, it aims to advance psychology as a science and profession and as a means of promoting human welfare by promoting research, establishing and maintaining standards, and diffusing knowledge. In 1991, APA established the Disaster Response Network (DRN) to work collaboratively with the American Red Cross and other relief organizations to provide licensed psychologists on site to aid disaster victims and relief workers. More than 2,000 psychologists have received required disaster response training and are DRN members.

American Society of Addiction Medicine

Promotes drug abuse prevention and treatment.

Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS)

A component of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Public Health Service (PHS), and Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). CMHS is charged with leading the national system that delivers mental health services and administers programs and funding for assisting people with mental illness with treatment, employment, housing, and transportation. CMHS was established under the 1992 ADAMHA Reorganization Act. The Emergency Services and Disaster Relief Branch (defined below) is housed within CMHS.

Children’s Advocacy Centers

Established by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention to assist communities in improving their response to child abuse. The Centers provide information, consultation, training, and technical assistance; help to establish child-focused programs; and support coordination among agencies responding to child abuse.

Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)

The U.S. government’s principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans, and providing essential human services, especially for those who are least able to help themselves. The department’s 300 programs cover a wide spectrum of activities and purposes, from medical and social science research, disease prevention, and food and drug safety to health insurance for elderly, disabled, and low-income Americans and maternal and infant health. In the Federal Response Plan (FRP), DHHS is the lead agency responsible for carrying out Emergency Support Function #8 (health and medical care) and plays a supporting role in mass care and information and planning.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Cabinet-level agency of the U.S. government charged with providing benefits and services to veterans and their dependents. The VA health care system provides a broad spectrum of medical, surgical, and rehabilitative care and also houses the National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Readjustment Counseling Service, and the Emergency Mental Strategic Health Care Group. In the FRP, the VA plays a supporting role for four emergency functions: public works, mass care, resource support, and health
and medical services.

When someone develops a substance habit, it becomes the family’s problem as well. It can be exhausting and overwhelming for everyone involved, and the ordeal often causes loved ones to turn their back. But families who stick together through the worst can arrive on the other side stronger and closer than ever.

Emergency Mental Health and Traumatic Stress Services Branch

A branch of the Center for Mental Health Services that is responsible for meeting the mental health needs of disaster survivors and responders. The branch works in collaboration with FEMA to implement the Crisis Counseling Assistance and Training Program when a state has applied for a Citizen Corps Program (CCP) grant after a federally declared disaster. The grants may be for immediate services, which support services for sixty days past the declaration date, or for regular services, which support services for nine to fifteen months past the declaration date.

International Critical Incident Stress Foundation

A nonprofit, open-membership foundation dedicated to preventing and mitigating disabling stress through the provision of education, training, and support services for all emergency services professions, including continuing education and training in emergency mental health services for psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, and licensed professional counselors, and consultation in the establishment of crisis and disaster response programs for varied organizations and communities worldwide.

National Association of Social Workers (NASW)

A membership organization that promotes, develops, and protects the practice of social work and social workers. NASW also seeks to enhance the effective functioning and well-being of individuals, families, and communities through its work and its advocacy.

National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (NCPTSD)

A seven-site consortium created by public law. Housed within the Department of Veterans Affairs, the mission of the NCPTSD is to advance the clinical care and social welfare of America’s veterans through research, education, and training in the science, diagnosis, and treatment of PTSD and stress-related disorders. As a leading authority on PTSD, NCPTSD serves and collaborates with many different agencies and constituencies, including veterans and their families, government policymakers, scientists and researchers, doctors and psychiatrists, journalists, and the lay public.

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

A part of the U.S. government’s National Institutes of Health, PHS, and DHHS, the NIMH is responsible for research on mental health and mental disorders, including research on the mental health consequences of and interventions after disasters and acts of mass violence.

National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA)

A private, nonprofit organization of victim and witness assistance programs and practitioners, criminal justice agencies and professionals, mental health professionals, researchers, former victims and survivors, and others committed to the recognition and implementation of victim rights and services. NOVA’s mission is to promote rights and services for victims of crime and crisis.

National Voluntary Organizations

Office for Victims of Crime (OVC)

A federal agency established by the 1984 Victims of Crime Act to oversee diverse programs that benefit victims of crime. OVC provides substantial funding to state victim assistance and compensation programs, the lifeline services that help victims to heal. The agency supports training designed to educate criminal justice and allied professionals regarding the rights and needs of crime victims. OVC is one of five bureaus and four offices with grant-making authority within the Office of Justice Programs, DOJ.

Public Health Service (PHS)

A major division of the Department of Health and Human Services, PHS is the principal health agency of the U.S. government. PHS is responsible for promoting and ensuring the nation’s health through research into the causes, treatment, and prevention of disease.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

The lead mental health services agency of the PHS, DHHS, which includes the Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) and the Emergency Services Branch within CMHS. Through these divisions, SAMHSA provides assistance with assessing mental health needs and mental health training for disaster workers. SAMHSA also assists in arranging training for mental health outreach workers, assesses the content of applications for federal crisis counseling grant funds, and addresses worker stress issues and needs through a variety of mechanisms.



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