APA Approves Three CE Credits for Red Cross Disaster Mental Health Fundamentals In-Person Course

Updated April 2014


The APA Disaster Response Network (DRN) Office is very pleased to announce that the American Psychological Association has approved three APA CE credits for the in-person training of the American Red Cross Disaster Mental Health Fundamentals course. Red Cross Disaster Mental Health eligible individuals who complete the course and fill out the necessary paperwork can obtain APA CE credit.

Over the years, APA has offered CE credit for this course. For this latest CE approval, changes have been made to the application process:

What’s new?

  1. There is a new Payment Authorization/Documentation of Attendance Form (PDF, 12.4KB) to be completed and submitted to APA.
  2. There is a new Course Evaluation Form (PDF, 13.9KB) to be completed and submitted to APA.
  3. A $20 fee is being charged to process CE. A personal check or cashier’s check should accompany the forms submitted to APA.
  4. A copy of the individual’s Red Cross certificate indicating course completion should accompany the forms submitted to APA.
  5. The documents mentioned in 1-4 above need to be mailed to the DRN Office (address is on the authorization form). Faxing or emailing the forms is no longer an option because of the processing fee.

What’s the same?

  • CE must be submitted within 30 days of completing the course.
  • Instructor(s) must sign the Payment Authorization/Documentation of Attendance Form.
  • Completed forms are sent to the DRN Office for initial processing before they go to the CE Office.
  • Once the forms reach the CE Office, there will be a processing time of approximately 4 weeks.
  • APA CE certificate will be mailed to CE applicant at the address provided on the Payment Authorization/Documentation of Attendance Form.

Frequently asked questions

1. Does CE apply to webinars of the Red Cross Disaster Mental Health Fundamentals course?


No. At this time, there is no way to monitor online participation. CE will only be given for in-person trainings.

2. Why is APA charging a $20 processing fee for this free course taught by volunteer instructors for mental health professionals seeking to engage in volunteer work?


For approximately 20 years, APA absorbed the costs of processing CE for this course. APA can no longer offer this CE credit for free. The CE Office identified the minimal amount possible that would enable it to cover its costs. $20 was identified as this amount. Only participants seeking CE credit will need to pay $20. The course continues to be a free Red Cross course, and mental health professionals who complete the course can begin the application process to become a DMH volunteer through their local Red Cross chapter.

3. Who is a Red Cross Disaster Mental Health eligible individual?


Excerpt from ARC DMH Handbook (2012)

Each Red Cross DMH worker must hold an active, unencumbered license or certification to practice independently without onsite supervision in the state in which he or she lives. The licensing of mental health professionals is determined by individual states or U.S. territories whose regulations must be followed by the Red Cross. There is no distinction made among types of mental health educational degrees. You could be a clinical social worker; licensed professional counselor; marriage, child or family counselor; psychiatric nurse; psychiatrist; clinical or counseling psychologist; or school counselor or school psychologist.

Note: A state certification is allowable as noted in criteria b shown below.
In addition to the requirements above, the individual must:
a. Have an independent license (license to practice without supervision) and master’s degree as a clinical social worker, psychologist, professional counselor, marriage and family therapist, psychiatric nurse, or psychiatrist, or
b. Have a state license or state certification and master’s degree as a school psychologist or school counselor issued by a state board of education. (This is an expansion to the DMH eligibility requirements cited in 2008.), or
c. Have a state license and a bachelor’s degree (BSN) as a registered nurse and American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) certification for psychiatric and mental health nursing to include RN-BC or PMHNP-BC or PMHCNS-BC.

4. Is there APA CE credit for Red Cross’s Psychological First Aid course?


No. The criteria that are applied in assessing a course’s eligibility for APA CE require the course to advance psychologists knowledge in the field of psychology. The information in the PFA course that is designed for lay persons does not meet those criteria.

For further information, please contact the APA DRN Office at (202) 336-5898 or by email. Thank you.