CHW Mental Health in Disasters

Community Health Workers – Mental Health in Disasters (English and Spanish)

Take this Course


The effects of a disaster, terrorist attack or other public health emergency can be long-lasting, and the resulting trauma can reverberate even with those not directly affected by the disaster. This course will introduce you to the effects a disaster can have on mental health, and how promotores can be prepared to help. This course has been designed to be self-directed and should not take more than two hours to complete.


CEUs: 4 contact hours (0.4 Community Health Worker CEUs) certified by the Texas Department of State Health Services awarded upon successful completion



By the end of Mental Health in Disasters training, the learner will be able to:

Module 1: Defining Mental Health

  • Understand the definition of mental health
  • State the differences between mental health, mental illness and mental health problems
  • List the seven statistics that reflect the importance of mental health

Module 2: Common Mental Health Disorders

  • List the common mental disorders
  • Describe the signs and symptoms of common mental health illnesses
  • Cite important facts that aid in mental health recovery
  • List the roles and responsibilities of promotores in addressing mental health disorders

Module 3: Traumatic Events and Disasters

  • Describe the difference between traumatic event and a disaster
  • Define psychological stress
  • List the symptoms of psychological stress
  • Understand how the public responds to disasters
  • List those at risk for psychological stress

Module 4: Responding to Disasters

  • Determine how people respond to disasters
  • Describe situations when you should refer people to mental health services
  • Understand who may be most at risk following a disaster

Module 5: Coping with Disasters

  • Identify methods to cope with field-related stress
  • Describe psychological first aid and the ways to utilize it
  • List the strategies that promotores can use to assist members of the public following a disaster
  • Identify how to respond to special risk groups
  • List the issues that influence long-term recovery following a disaster



Capability 1: Community Preparedness

Function 2: Build community partnerships to support health preparedness

Function 3: Engage with community organizations to foster public health, medical, and mental/behavioral health social networks

Capability 2: Community Recovery

Function 1: Identify and monitor public health, medical, and mental/behavioral health system recovery needs.

Function 2: Coordinate community public health, medical, and mental/behavioral health system recovery operations

 Capability 14: Responder Safety and Health

            Function 1: Identify responder safety and health risks

            Function 2: Identify safety and personal protective needs



Model Leadership

1.5 Demonstrate respect for all persons and cultures

Plan for and Improve Practice

3.2 Contribute expertise to the development of emergency plans

3.3 Participate in improving the organization’s capacities (including, but not limited to programs, plans, policies, laws and workforce training)

Protect Worker Health and Safety

4.1 Maintain personal/family emergency preparedness plans

4.2 Employ protective behaviors according to changing conditions, personal limitations, and threats

Take this Course