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NYDIS Manual for NYC Religious Leaders:

Spiritual Care and Mental Health for Disaster Response and Recovery


The NYDIS Manual for New York City Religious Leaders:

Spiritual Care and Mental Health for Disaster Response and Recovery is a comprehensive resource tool to enable NYC religious leaders to best serve their congregations and the public as they respond to and recover from disasters. Its 19 chapters were written by 16 disaster mental health and spiritual care experts. Organized in three sections, Preparation & Mitigation, Response & Recovery, and Reference & Resources, the Manual offers an overview of the lifecycle of disasters, discusses the role of faith leaders throughout these phases, and provides information on skill sets, training resources, and effective clinical and pastoral best practices.
From the Introduction by The Reverend Stephen Harding, Editor:

Download ManualWhile certain houses of worship and religious leaders in New York City had done good work in the field of disaster response before the World Trade Center attacks, the landscape for communities of faith and houses of worship changed forever in New York City after September 11, 2001. Because of the enormous role that imams, pastors, priests, rabbis, anyone with a responsibility for a house of worship played in the recovery effort, the needs of our City called each religious leader to a new level of disaster response. Worshipping communities, too, faced a new challenge of responding and, as individual members of a house of worship, faced a new array of difficult decisions regarding individual safety. Going to help; caring for the families; listening; and then preparedness and planning were the watchwords of the day once the recovery effort was concluded.

The challenges of those times are still with us, and the need to remain vigilant and prepare for the next disaster has not gone away. This manual was developed by New York Disaster Interfaith Services to help you do several things as individual leaders of houses of worship:

  • Prepare yourself and the members of your worshipping community by developing a disaster plan in advance;
  • Help you identify the phases of disaster so that you know where you are as things are going on around you;
  • Provide you with information about preparation and your role as religious leaders in all phases of disaster;
  • Provide you with information and resources that you can call on and use if you need them; and
  • Help you to start thinking about what you would do if a disaster happened to your own house of worship or in your community.

    The contributors to this manual all have experience in responding to disasters. Some worked as part of the recovery effort for the World Trade Center and/or other disasters; others have extensive experience in working with relief organizations; still others are therapists; others teach; and all write from the experience of 'having been there.' These chapters are the things they have done and that have worked for them.
    To download the Manual as PDF click here (size:2.53mb)
    The Rev. Stephen Harding is the Disaster Response Coordinator for the Episcopal Diocese of New York and Protestant Chaplain for the Fire Department of the City of New York. Father Harding is also an Disaster Chaplaincy Instructor for the National Disaster Interfaiths Network and the former Director of Pastoral Care at NYU Medical Center.
  • Table of Contents:

    Download Complete Manual (2.53 MB)
    Front Cover (2.85 MB)
    Introduction (0.21 MB)

    Preparation & Mitigation Phases (0.07 MB)
    1 Disaster Response Planning & Preparedness: Phases of Disaster (0.12 MB)
    2 The Faith Community as Immediate and Long-Term Caregiver (0.16 MB)
    3 Self-Care (0.21 MB)
    4 Radical Hospitality: Houses of Worship Responding to Disaster (0.13 MB)
    5 Developing Cultural Competence (0.30 MB)

    Response & Recovery Phases (0.13 MB)
    6 Conflict Transformation: Mitigating the Effect of Disaster (0.52 MB)
    7 The Role of Religious Leaders in Trauma Response (0.19 MB)
    8 Mental Health Response to a Disaster (0.12 MB)
    9 The Context for Going to Help: Disaster Response Chaplains (0.14 MB)

    Reference Section (0.06 MB)
    10 Index of all Chapters' Resource Citations (0.04 MB)
    11 Glossary of Emotional States (0.04 MB)
    12 Age-Specific Reactions and Interventions (0.08 MB)
    13 New York City Government Response (0.11 MB)
    14 Primary National Volunteer Response Organizations (0.08 MB)
    15 New York City Disaster Response Agencies and Organizations (0.07 MB)
    16 Incident Command System (0.14 MB)
    17 New York State Government Response to Disaster (0.04 MB)
    18 Federal Response to Disaster (0.07 MB)

    Back Cover (0.05 MB)