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.
- 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
- Meet the moderate physical fitness requirement
- 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