May 21, 2013

Media Advisory: Experts Available to Discuss Psychological Impacts of Oklahoma Tornado Disaster


Psychologists are available to discuss mental health impacts following the Oklahoma tornado on May 20 that leveled communities and killed dozens of people, including young children. As victims face the loss of loved ones and homes and the search continues for survivors, these experts can discuss various psychological issues related to immediate and long-term trauma caused by such disasters.


Elana Newman, PhD
Tulsa, Okla.
Work: (918) 631-2836
Cell: (918) 633-2258

Expertise: McFarlin professor of psychology, University of Tulsa, and research director, Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, she can discuss disaster mental health with a focus on children. She has written about journalists’ trauma when covering disasters, best practices for journalists reporting on victims and effects of disaster news coverage on the public.

Robert Hayes, EdD (will be onsite in Oklahoma beginning 5/22/2013)
Miamisburg, Ohio
Cell: (765) 208-0362

Expertise: Retired professor of counseling psychology at  Ball State University, disaster mental health officer with American Red Cross and member of APA Disaster Response Network, he is an expert in crisis and disaster mental health. He has responded to major disasters, including the 9/11 Pentagon attack and 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.

Donald Freedheim, PhD
Cell: (216) 406-2800

Expertise: Professor emeritus of psychology, Case Western Reserve University, chair of Cleveland chapter of Red Cross mental health and disaster response team, he has worked in several trauma situations with individuals and families.

Jacqueline Lapidus, PsyD
Chevy Chase, Md.
Work: (202) 364-4687

Expertise: Clinical psychologist, volunteer with the American Red Cross and the National Association of Victim Assistance and member of APA Disaster Response Network, she can discuss crisis response, disasters, death, dying and bereavement.

Ellin Bloch, PhD
Alhambra, Calif.
Cell: (626) 270-3337

Expertise: Professor, California School of Professional Psychology, Los Angeles, she can discuss psychology of disasters, recovery from trauma (individuals, groups, communities, nations),  effects of media on victims, bystanders and general public during and after traumatic events.

Nora Baladerian, PhD
Los Angeles
Home: (310) 925-4488
Work: (310) 754-2388 x1

Expertise: Director, Counseling Center of West Los Angeles, she headed three trauma teams in New Orleans following hurricanes Katrina and Rita. She can discuss depression and anxiety in trauma victims and family reactions to trauma of a family member.


For more information, APA’s online Help Center offers these resources: Managing Traumatic Stress: After the Tornadoes and Tornadoes, Hurricanes and Children.

The American Psychological Association, in Washington, D.C., is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States and is the world's largest association of psychologists. APA's membership includes more than 134,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 54 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance the creation, communication and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society and improve people's lives.