// Mental Health Specialist

POSITION DESCRIPTION

Functional Description

The Mental Health Specialist is responsible for assisting the IMERT Command Staff in two primary functions: in a preventative function through the monitoring  of team members for signs of mental fatigue and , secondly to mitigate the development of cumulative stress. We recommend a Mental Health Specialist: understand the underlying psychology of first and disaster responders; be able to collaborate with team leadership to performongoing clinical assessments in the field; possess appropriate flexibility and adaptiveness to changing conditions which occur in a response situation; be able to collect relevant MSE information through interviews and observation; be able to  provide appropriate interventions to team members individually and in group format; be able to provide appropriate elements of CISM  to team member; be able to encourage team members to appropriately express their feelings and discuss what is happening; be able to evaluate a team members physical or mental condition, and provide team leadership with summary evaluations and recommendations; be able to guide team members in developing successful strategies in dealing with the stress of a deployment; be able to maintain confidentially; be able to properly assess when to involve IMERT Command Staff; be able to provide follow up information to team members for post deployment follow-up.

Once your primary application has been completed and approved acceptance to the team as a Mental Health Team Specialist requires an interview with the Mental Health Team Coordinator.

Description of Duties

  • Assist members of the Illinois Medical Emergency Response Team (IMERT)
  • Provide direct and indirect support to the IMERT team members.
  • Provide supportive observation to those on scene to assure that IMERT responders are working with-in healthy boundaries of stress management,
  • Recognizing physical limitations (fatigue, hunger, working without injury),
  • Recognizing limitations of immediate emotional consequences of working a disaster or emergency site (numbness, anger, irritation, overwhelm, fatigue, shock, despair, grief, guilt, etc)
  • Recognizing situations that can lead to both typical and atypical stress responses and conditions.

Knowledge 

  • Hold a valid driver’s license.
  • Possess good verbal skills when dealing with the public.
  • Be able to maintain composure during high stress situations.
  • Possess a current CPR and First Aid Training Card
  • Possess ICS – safety certification

Ability 

  • Meet the moderate physical fitness requirement

Training Requirements 

  • Complete Basic ICS training
  • Complete WMD/mass casualty educational session
  • Complete NIMS training
  • Additional Mental Health Training

Read more about the Mental Health Volunteer curriculum and training requirements