Helping Hands
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Mission Statement

To develop and disseminate free disaster coping resources for educators, administrators, teachers, mental health professionals, parents, and other stakeholders in order to help children, families, and schools cope with major disasters and to conduct research into innovative School-Based Family Counseling approaches to disaster coping and intervention. 

What is the DCRT? 


The Disaster and Crisis Coping Resources Team is one of six Research & Intervention Teams of the Oxford Symposium in School-Based Family Counseling. The DCRT is designed to assist in coping with the emotional stressors of a disaster (human-made, or natural). 

What is a disaster? 


A disaster is an often (but not always) sudden, calamitous event that seriously disrupts the functioning of a community or society and causes human, material, and economic or environmental losses that exceed the community’s or society’s ability to cope using its own resources. Though often caused by nature, disasters can have human origins.

Natural Disasters


A natural disaster is a natural process or phenomenon that may cause loss of life, injury or other health impacts, property damage, loss of livelihoods and services, social and economic disruption, or environmental damage. Various phenomena like earthquakes, landslides, volcanic eruptions, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, tsunamis, and cyclones are all natural hazards that kill thousands of people and destroy billions of dollars of habitat and property each year. 

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Human-Instigated Disasters


Human-instigated  (a.k.a "man-made") disasters are the consequence of technological hazards. Examples include shootings, stampedes, fires, transport accidents, industrial accidents, oil spills and nuclear explosions/radiation. War and deliberate attacks may also be put in this category. 

Oxford Symposium in School-Based Family Counseling


The Oxford Symposium in School-Based Family Counseling is sponsored by the Institute for School-Based Family Counseling and co-sponsored by the University of San Francisco Center for Child and Family Development.

Institute for School-Based Family Counseling 

The Institute for School-Based Family Counseling exists to promote the development of School-Based Family Counseling as a discipline through multi-culturally sensitive programs of both intervention and prevention; the Institute aims to promote policy change through social education and advocacy among mental health professionals, educators and the general public in relation to the nature and value of School Based-Family Counseling.


Specialized resources for schools and practitioners

One goal of the DCRT is to provide outreach and dissemination of materials to communities in the immediate aftermath of a disaster. The distribution of the "DisasterShock" manual, "How to cope with the emotional stress of a major disaster" is available for dissemination to communities in need. 

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Rapid Response Teams

In addition to community outreach with resources and material for disaster coping, the DCRT is forming Rapid Response Teams (RRTs) that have responded to specific major disasters to provide direct coping support and coping materials.