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Credentialing Disaster Mental Health Responders
Release Date: October 16, 2007

Credentialing Disaster Mental Health Responders

New Jersey is one of the first states to recognize the critical importance of a disaster mental health workforce. As a result of a pilot project the last few years, the Division of Mental Health Services has created a Disaster Response Crisis Counselor certification. 

The purpose of credentialing disaster mental health workers is to assure that only the best trained and most highly skilled workers are providing critical services at each phase of disaster response.

The goals of the credentialing program are as follows:

1) Standardize selection criteria for disaster mental health workers while also allowing for flexibility within counties to meet local needs;

2) Identify workers with skills in various aspects of disaster response, from family assistance centers to crisis counseling programs to clinical service delivery, with the purpose of maintaining an effective degree of quality control within each county.

The certification is still in the grandfathering process so anyone that may be interested in this certification should go online to www.njdrcc.org or www.disastermentalhealthnj.com for more information or call Cindy Armstrong at 973-948-6000 ext 225.

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