As one response to help the reeling Santa Barbara community after the Thomas Fire and subsequent floods and slides in Montecito, several mental health professionals have put together the program “Promoting Resilience in the Wake of Local Disasters.” This event, which is free and open to the public, will happen on Thursday, January 18 at 7 pm at the New Vic Theatre, 33 W. Victoria St. The evening will attempt to answer questions such as: How can we anticipate and respond to our own and others’ distress? How do we move forward from vicarious trauma toward coping? How can we promote resilience after tragedy?
Experts in disaster mental health will offer guidance to help our community heal. Presenters include Dr. Erika Felix and Dr. Shane Jimerson from the Gevirtz School’s Department of Counseling, Clinical and School Psychology. The evening will be moderated by Dr. Tania Israel from UCSB.
Erika Felix is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology in the Department of Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology and a licensed psychologist. Dr. Felix is committed to a career that contributes to evidence-based efforts to promote the mental health and educational well-being of diverse children and youth. Her research is focused on understanding the individual, relational, and contextual factors that promote positive youth development or recovery despite contexts of risk, trauma, or stress; informing and evaluating prevention efforts; and improving service delivery. Her work spans three related areas: (1) promoting adaptive recovery for youth following disaster, terrorism, or other collectively-experienced traumas, (2) youth victimization and its consequences, and (3) research and evaluation to improve community-based services. Her research has been funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, National Institute of Child Health & Human Development, private foundations, and local community organizations.
Shane Jimerson is a Professor in the Department of Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology. Dr. Jimerson is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist and recognized by The American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress as a Board Certified Expert and Diplomat, and is included in their international registry of Experts in Traumatic Stress with specialization in working with children, families, and schools. His scholarship continues to highlight the importance of early experiences on subsequent development and emphasize the importance of research informing professional practice to promote the social and cognitive competence of children. He is the author of over 250 publications, including 25 books.