June 9, 2023  — Categorized in:

Vibrant Emotional Health Hosted its 3rd Annual Disaster Behavioral Health Symposium in Washington, D.C.

Media Contact:

Divendra Jaffar, [email protected]

NEW YORK, NY – June 9, 2023 – Vibrant Emotional Health (Vibrant), one of the nation’s leading mental health organizations and the nonprofit administrator of the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, the Disaster Distress Helpline and the 1,000-member strong Crisis Emotional Care Team, hosted its third annual Disaster Behavioral Health Symposium from May 24-26 at American University in Washington, D.C. This year’s first-ever in-person symposium highlighted the importance of collaboration, teamwork and connection among community partners who support people recovering from and responding to disasters, emergencies, and other crises.

The symposium brought together over 130+ disaster and crisis behavioral health community members to engage and share first-hand experiences with attendees and discuss concrete solutions, tools, and approaches for creating positive change in their communities. The event specifically focused on increasing the visibility of mental health care and identifying ways to support responders.

“Thanks to our partners, sponsors, speakers, and attendees for attending our 3rd Annual Disaster Behavioral Health Symposium,” said Lisa Furst, Chief Program Officer at Vibrant Emotional Health. “At Vibrant, our Disaster Services work is founded on the promise that “Hope happens here.” And hope becomes real when leaders are strong, empowered, and invited to their full potential.

“I felt inspired and uplifted to participate in this event. We all know disaster survivors, their families, and emergency responders experience great hardship following a disaster. Vibrant created the opportunity to focus on bolstering collaboration, teamwork, and connection between behavioral health professionals, emergency managers, and community leaders, and together we sought to strengthen the resilience of our communities and our nation. Vibrant Emotional Health has been a long-standing partner to help build the FEMA our nation needs and deserves,” said Marcus Coleman, Jr., Director of the Department of Homeland Security for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, a Center of the White House Office of Faith-Based & Neighborhood Partnerships.

“Choose partnerships. Build relationships. Create strategies,” said Olivia Stein, Director of Videophone Crisis Line Services at DeafLEAD. “That’s what this event was all about; we were thrilled to be a part of it. I appreciate Vibrant Emotional Health for hosting this event and their work to address the needs of those in emotional distress.”

“This was such an impactful event that gave us a chance to learn from others in our field and share stories of success and challenge with them,” said Dr. Joshua Morganstein, Deputy Director of the Uniformed Services University Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress. “Collaboration is paramount when responding to disasters, emergencies, and other crises, and I’m thrilled to have participated in the symposium this year.”

“The past few years have been exceptionally difficult for many of us for various reasons,” said Dr. Agustina Boehringer, Chief Medical Officer and Acting Director of Emergency Response at Heart to Heart International. “Despite the challenges, this event and others like it showed there are teams of trained professionals committed to helping those who need support amid a crisis. Teamwork is the key to success and healing, as the Disaster Behavioral Health Symposium demonstrated this year.”

This year’s program featured discussions on the impact of climate change, specific to disaster behavioral health, workforce protection, and managing burnout.

For more information about the event, visit vibrantsymposium.info. For those interested in sponsoring next year’s symposium or anyone with questions about the event, please email us at [email protected]. To learn more about Vibrant Emotional Health, visit vibrant.org.


About Vibrant Emotional Health
For 50 years, Vibrant Emotional Health has been at the forefront of promoting emotional well-being for all people. As leaders, advocates, educators, and innovators in mental health, we have been raising awareness and offering support to everyone struggling. We work every single day to help save lives and assist people to get care anytime, anywhere, and in any way that works for them. We are unwavering in our belief that everyone can achieve emotional wellness with the right care and support. As part of our work, we administer the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, funded by SAMHSA, which provides 24/7, free, and confidential support for people in emotional distress across the United States. For more information, please visit vibrant.org. Follow Vibrant on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.


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