The Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disabilities Services, in conjunction with Temple University CPREP and the University of Pennsylvania hosted a mental health response exercise on January 8, 2013. Sarah Powell (Temple CPREP), Patty Stewart-Taylor (DBHIDS Acute Services), and Phil DeMara (DBHIDS Emergency Preparedness) were the lead organizers and controllers for this event. This exercise, the third designed and coordinated by DBHIDS and Temple CPREP, simulated a reception center for families, staff, and students that might be opened in the wake of this type of incident. Response Teams were given the opportunity to practice Psychological First Aid skills and to work within the Incident Command System.
Several organizations participated in the exercise, including but not limited to: provider agencies, regional county partners, school districts, Philadelphia Police and Police chaplains, victim/witness programs, county crisis response, and CISM teams. There were over 100 attendees, including evaluators, observers, and exercise controllers. Steve Crimando, a national and international trainer and speaker commented that “Philadelphia has one of the best teams (in mental health response) in the country, and is ahead of the curve in its preparation for active shooter and similar events.”
An after action report summarizing the exercise, feedback from participants and observers is being developed and will be completed soon. Upcoming Local and Regional Trainings Mental Health Response Teams work in a Family DBHIDS Emergency Preparedness Program Active Shooter Mental Health Response Functional Exercise.
Mar 13-14, 2013. Emotional and Spiritual Care in Disasters. ICISF. Montgomery County Fire Academy. 2 Days, 9-4pm. 48 seats.
April 9, 2013. Psychological First Aid. Steve Crimando. Temple University Center City. 9am-4pm. 35 seats.
For information related to these trainings, please contact:
Phillip DeMara, MSEd.
Director of Emergency Preparedness
City of Philadelphia
Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbilities Services