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Become a Red Cross Disaster Mental Health Volunteer

The American Red Cross provides disaster training for mental health professionals, including online modules.

Training for Red Cross Disaster Mental Health Volunteers

Mental health professionals play a central and rewarding role in Red Cross disaster operations, offering emotional support and promoting resilience in responders and survivors who are coping with stress and loss.

Getting Started

Red Cross volunteers use three websites: 

  1. Volunteer Connection is the starting place to use each. You should register on Volunteer Connection.
  2. The Edge has training modules.
  3. The Exchange has information about volunteer roles, training and Red Cross news. 

Connect to the Exchange and Edge by clicking the links at the top right corner of the Volunteer Connection website, eg, ‘Connect to Edge’. On the Edge website, you can enter the title of a training in the Search bar or click ‘Browse for Training’. You might need help from your chapter or another volunteer learning to navigate these websites.

Eligibility

Most licensed and many retired mental health professionals are eligible to become DMH volunteers. For detailed eligibility requirements, see Eligibility Criteria for DMH Workers (Go to The Exchange and search for this title).

Below are training requirements for mental health professionals to become Disaster Mental Health (DMH) workers at the Service Associate level with the American Red Cross. Details on training and system access requirements for all DMH levels may be found in Job Tool: Training and System Access Requirements for the Disaster Mental Health Workforce. (Search on The Exchange.)

Training Formats

ILT: Instructor-Led Training (in person; sign up on Edge)
VILT: Virtual Instructor-Led Training (webinar; sign up and take it on Edge)
WBT: Web-Based Training (on Edge website)

Required training for DMH Service Associate

Disaster Cycle Services: An Overview (ILT or WBT)
Disaster Mental Health: Introduction (WBT)
Disaster Mental Health: Fundamentals, Part 1 (WBT) & Part 2 (ILT or VILT)

Recommended Training (Strengthen your skills & become more versatile)

Psychological First Aid (WBT, ILT, or VILT)
Everyone is Welcome (ILT, WBT)
Disaster Frontline Supervisor (including Simulation) (ILT)
Casework and Recovery Planning Fundamentals (WBT)
Direct Client Assistance Fundamentals (WBT)
Meet the Client: What is a Family? (WBT)
Disaster Action Team Basics Presentation (search on The Exchange)
Shelter Fundamentals (ILT)

*Consult regional or chapter Red Cross Disaster Services for more information on how to become part of Disaster Services.