Dr. Roysircar Receives Disaster Responder Self-Care Grant

Dr. Roysircar was awarded in 2008 a one-year grant of $50,000 to develop and conduct a series of self-care and resilience workshops for Hurricane Katrina first responders and caregivers in Mississippi. This grant was awarded by the Foundation of the Mid South in partnership with the American Red Cross for the hurricane recovery initiative, “Building Community Resilience in Mississippi Coastal Towns.” The objectives of Dr. Roysircar’s self-care and resilience workshops are to: 1) minimize psychological effects of clients/patients’ personal trauma narratives and experiences on caregivers; 2) maximize potential for ongoing self-maintenance of physical, psychological, and spiritual health; 3) minimize psychological effects of response “burnout”; 4) minimize “compassion fatigue”; 5) maximize positive self-perceptions of resilience; and 6) maximize the multicultural applicability of training. “Dr. Roysircar’s psycoeducation workshop supports the Foundation for the Mid South’s ongoing commitment to help responders recover from personal traumas experienced while providing emergency services in catastrophic situations,” said Necole S. Irvin, Program Officer of the Foundation. “By focusing on self-care in relation to counselors’ personal strengths, this workshop achieves its goal of counteracting the emotionally and physically debilitating effects of disaster response work.”

Research assistants, who are clinical psychology first and second year students, have been funded by the grant to help with the development, progress reports, and program evaluation of the project. Dr. Roysircar has been invited to give the self-care workshop internationally, such as in Mexico, New Zealand, and South Africa, and to give with her students conference symposia and keynote addresses on this topic. The student presenters receive the self-care workshop training themselves prior to doing disaster recovery outreach within our nation and internationally under Dr. Roysircar’s leadership. Dr. Roysircar is seeking more grants and philanthropic support to continue her program on disaster services.