Featured Article: VOLUNTEERING AS A MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONAL FOR THE RED CROSS
Most know that the American Red Cross responds to international disasters. But did you know that the Red Cross also responds to local, and domestic disasters? Whether it’s a house burning down the street, a California wildfire, or a flood in Louisiana, the Red Cross has a chapter to provide immediate services to that community. Red Cross is mostly volunteer-based, and in addition, there are Disaster Mental Health Teams comprised of licensed mental health professionals at most chapters. Last but not least, Red Cross also has a program called Service to the Armed Forces (SAF), which acts like a liaison (communication between families and their enlisted loved ones) and as support for the US military. Within SAF, licensed mental health professionals can train to volunteer in hosting and facilitating Reconnection Workshops for service members and their families throughout the USA. In joining the American Red Cross chapter of San Diego and Imperial Counties, which is part of the Pacific Division of the Red Cross, I had the pleasure of being trained to become both a Disaster Mental Health (DMH) and SAF volunteer.