Become a Disaster Response Crisis Counselor (DRCC) Disaster & Terrorism Branch

Become a Disaster Response Crisis Counselor (DRCC) Disaster & Terrorism Branch (NJ Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services): A program of the New Jersey Department of Human Services, Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services).

About the Disaster and Terrorism Branch:

The Division of Mental Health and Addiction (DMHAS) within the New Jersey Department of Human Services (NJDHS) houses a highly specialized behavioral health Disaster and Terrorism Branch (DTB). DTB is responsible for administering as well as directly providing, emergency response behavioral health program to assist the citizens of New Jersey. The Branch has the capacity to provide ongoing and on demand training for emergency responders from many backgrounds including but not limited to behavioral health, human services, first responders, health care, public health, emergency management and faith based organizations to further increase the state’s capacity to address the psychosocial needs of communities affected by disasters and overwhelming events.

Responses have included declared disasters:

*September 11th

*Anthrax Postal System Attacks

*Hurricane Floyd

*Hurricane Ivan along the Delaware River

*Tropical Storm Irene

*Super Storm Sandy

Also non-declared disasters:

*Seton Hall Dormitory Fire

*Edison Gas Line Explosion

*Haitian Earthquake

What is a Disaster Response Crisis Counselor?

New Jersey is one the first states to certify its behavioral responders in preparation for response to disasters and traumatic events. The development of a cadre of paraprofessionals and professionals enhances the capability of activating a timely and effective behavioral health response. A Disaster Response Crisis Counselor (DRCC) is a volunteer who becomes part of an Emergency Response Network and responds to the needs of communities in the event that a disaster strikes.

The DRCC’s are trained in disaster response, disaster behavioral health and crisis counseling, among other topics and they collaborate with the various response partners who participate in the statewide emergency response network. The DRCC does not need to have a clinical background as the crisis counseling program does not provide traditional mental health services.

To become a Disaster Response Crisis Counselor:

The credentialing process consists of a series of steps including the application, the submission of references and possible interviews. Participants are also required to attend designated training and to undergo fingerprinting and background checks. You must complete the five required trainings listed below to apply to become a DRCC.

  1. Introduction to Disaster Behavioral Health and Crisis Counseling.
  2. Ethical Issues in Crisis Response
  3. National Incident Management System (NIMS 700/Incident Command System 100; Note: NIMS and ICS training can be taken online).
  4. 4. Cultural Diversity in the Provision of Disaster Mental Health Services
  5. Psychological First Aid

For more information or to apply go to:

You can also contact your County Mental Health Administrator for more information.

DTB Partners: NJ has developed critical partnerships and working relationships between:

*NJ State Police: Office of Emergency Management

*Department of Health

*Department of Homeland Security and Preparedness

*NJ Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster

*American Red Cross

*Salvation Army

*Public Health

*Emergency Managers

*First Responders

*County Mental Health Administrators

*County Office of Emergency Management

*Academic Institutions

Disclaimer: This information was taken directly from the NJ Jersey Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services pamphlet and I give them full credit for the information. Please call or email the above numbers for more information.


About jwatrel

I am a free-lance writer and Blogger. I am the author of the book "Firehouse 101" ( 2005) part of trilogy of books centered in New York City. My next book "Love Triangles" is finished being edited and should be ready for release in the Fall. My latest book, "Dinner at Midnight", a thriller is on its last chapter. My long awaited book explains the loss of the 2004 Yankee game to Boston. I work as a Consultant, Adjunct College Professor, Volunteer Fireman and Ambulance member and Blogger. I have a blog site for caregivers called 'bergencountycaregiver', a step by step survival guide to all you wonderful folks taking care of your loved ones, a walking project to walk every block, both sides, of the island of Manhattan "MywalkinManhattan" and discuss what I see and find on the streets of New York and three sites to accompany it. One is an arts site called "Visiting a Museum", where I showcase small museums, historical sites and parks that are off the beaten track both in Manhattan and outside the city to cross reference with "MywalkinManhattan" blog site. Another is "DiningonaShoeStringNYC", featuring small restaurants I have found on my travels in this project, that offer wonderful meals for $10.00 and under. So be on the lookout for updates on all three sites and enjoy 'MywalkinManhattan'. The third is my latest site, "LittleShoponMainStreet", which showcases all the unique and independent shops that I have found on my travels throughout and around Manhattan. I have started two new blog sites for the fire department, one "EngineOneHasbrouck HeightsFireDepartmentnj" for the Hasbrouck Heights Fire Department to discuss what our Engine Company is doing and the other is "BergenCountyFireman'sHomeAssociation" for the Bergen County Fireman's Association, which fire fighters from Bergen County, NJ, go to the Fireman's Home in Boonton, NJ to bring entertainment and cheer to our fellow brother fire fighters quarterly.
This entry was posted in Bergen County NJ Programs, Disaster and Terrorism Training Programs, Fire Fighting/First Responder Programming, Legal Assistance Programs, New Jersey Senior Programming, Senior Services, Uncategorized, Veterans Programming and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Become a Disaster Response Crisis Counselor (DRCC) Disaster & Terrorism Branch

  1. jwatrel says:

    Please call or email the above numbers for more information about the program.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s