Over the last 16 years, Mary-Michael Levitt, LMFT, has been on the site of many of the significant events that have affected individuals in the US and other countries- Ground Zero, Hurricane Sandy, Hurricane Irene, the tornadoes in Joplin, MO, and the earthquake in Haiti. The time she volunteers is spent coordinator and supervising mental health volunteers who provide psychological first aid.
She was recently profiled as an alum of Fairleigh-Dickinson University in an article that highlights her longstanding contributions to the well-being of families and communities through the invaluable work of mental health first response.
Any MFT who has considered volunteering with the Red Cross is encouraged to read Mary-Michael's story and experiences. AAMFT is a member of the American Red Cross Disaster Mental Health Partners coalition for many years, and we communicate with AAMFT members through our social media platforms any needs that the Red Cross has related to disasters.
Several notable quotes by Mary-Michael Levitt from the article:
“The need for comfort and security, for psychological first aid, is the same” — no matter the disaster. The sooner that someone who has suffered a trauma can get assistance, the more hopeful they can be for feeling well. With the right support it quickly turns to, ‘We can do this. We can rebuild and we’ll be stronger than ever.’”
"Psychological first aid is all about mitigating initial despair, hopelessness and shock, bringing relief to those in conflict. Even though it feels impossible, it’s not impossible. You can feel better.”
“Talk to people after a disaster, and it’s all about hope, people coming together and rebuilding. There’s a great coming together and energy of community. Finding a way to help a family past conflict, through whatever they’re going through — there is hope. This is not permanent. There is a way out. My favorite four-letter word is hope.”
Congratulations to Mary-Michael for this feature and for your longstanding contributions to families and communities through your leadership and volunteer work!
Information about volunteering with the Red Cross can be found here and AAMFT posts links specific to the needs of MFTs as needed.