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Brethren Disaster Ministries

Brethren Disaster Ministries is a crises management organization that uses staff and volunteers to help victims ease the trauma they feel during and after a disaster (Church of the Brethren, n.d.). It helps clean up remains /debris, rebuild or repair homes for survivors who lack adequate resources to get paid labor or contractors for the work. The church organization, established in the year 1941, responds to situations or individuals that need relief of suffering, war, natural calamity or strife (Church of the Brethren, n.d). Its symbol depicts reconciliation as help is passed from a person to another. It has an emergency disaster fund and response guideline.

Similarities and Differences between American Red Cross and Brethren Disaster Ministries Models

The two models are similar in several ways. Firstly, they check disaster situations, observe, listen, and assess them. Secondly, they coordinate to avail/get help and resources accordingly. They also get victims and survivors to safety as soon as possible (Gilliland & James, 2013). They identify and group them according to their immediate needs, help them relax, slow down, and refocus through counseling. Finally, they assist victims connect with families and colleagues and restore their hope and self-esteem.

The two models aim at assisting individuals in crisis contexts to reinstate stability to their bio-psychosocial positions and reduce or eliminate potential psychological disturbance during and after events that cause extreme distress (Gilliland & James, 2013). They have psychological first aid models that endeavor to assist individuals in immediate consequences of calamities, accidents, wars, and terrorism among others. Besides, they tend to promote short-term and long-run adaptive functioning. Both organizations’ models are based on the provision of kindhearted care to individuals in need. They have networks of volunteers, generous donors, and employees whose common mission is to relief and prevent further suffering locally and globally. In the same vein, BDM and American Red Cross have long-term recovery teams, and their volunteers’ presence is felt until the work at hand is over. For this reason, beneficiaries of their services enjoy both physical and emotional support as well as company.

The American Red Cross covers five primary areas that include:

  1. Disaster Relief

It includes responding to disasters at home ranging from domestic fires, hurricanes, and earthquakes to famines that affect millions. In such events, American Red Cross offers food, shelter, healthcare services. First aid and counseling services to assist families and communities recover from devastating conditions and distress. Also, they partner with other organizations and agencies that offer services to victims and survivors (American Red Cross, n. d).

  1. Supporting the America’s Military Families

The American Red Cross assists military veterans, members, and families get ready for, deal with, and respond to military service challenges. Emergency contact, training, and education to support wounded soldiers and ex-soldiers are also parts of their model (American Red Cross, n. d).

  1. Lifesaving Blood

Donors’ blood makes this organization the biggest sole supplier of emergency blood and its products in the United States. Every year, over 4 million people give blood via the organization, and this raises its contribution to America’s blood supply by more than 40 percent (American Red Cross, n. d).

  1. Safety and Health Services

The American Red Cross leads the country in the provision of security and health courses that include lifeguarding training, first aid, and CPR. Each year, the organization attracts over 9 million Americans to take part in their training programs in first response, education, babysitting, and emergency volunteering (American Red Cross, n.d).

  1. International Services

The American Red Cross has around 13 million humanitarian volunteers in about 187 countries. They collaborate to respond to disastrous situations, danger, as well build safe communities and educate people about war rules (American Red Cross, n. d).

The American Red Cross model focuses on improving its operations and business capacity. It also strives to warrant spirited internal controls to curb fraud, abuse, and waste while offering enhanced accountability. On the other hand, BDM’s volunteer networks engage in the repairing and reconstruction of homes for survivors who cannot afford hired labor or contractors to improve communities’ long-run recovery (Church of the Brethren, n.d). Also, they collaborate with local organizations, just like American Red Cross, to source and train volunteers. Besides, they provide home-based distribution and warehousing services courtesy of their church material resource center.

American Red Cross also offers emergency assistance including mobile/fixed feeding stations, cleaning supplies, transportation, medical supplies, household items, and home repair. They may also provide additional help for long-term recovery where other personal or relief assistance resources are not enough to cater for disaster-caused wants. Moreover, they provide referrals to institutions and agencies that provide aid.

Recommendations You Might Make to Aid Counselors in Terms of their Selection and/or Use of the Models

Counselors should understand that advantages of the post-crisis recovery assistance can be compromised if they abbreviate recovery processes, ignore recipients’ crisis denial impact denial or fear to intrude into their individual recovery process (James & Gilliland, 2013).  For this reason, I would recommend that counselors conduct follow-ups but not go back to pre-crisis activities immediately after the subsidence of crisis behaviors. They should remember that disaster victims require the time to attain full recovery.

Counselors should also assess victims’ emotional status through looking at various factors that affect their emotional stability level and duration of crisis (Marbley, 2007). Such factors include victims’ age, marital status, educational level, financial stability and responsibilities, social background, and their history of handling a crisis. Finally, counselors have to make the primary response at disaster areas. Once there, they should utilize their trauma, crisis, and psychological knowledge to help individuals and communities at all stages and levels of disasters (Marbley, 2007). In this way, they will address psychological situations of the affected people in time and in the process minimize assimilation problems.









American Red Cross. (n. d). What we do. The American National Red Cross. Retrieved from http://www.redcross.org/what-we-do

“Church of the Brethren.” (n. d). Church of Brethen, Inc. Retrieved from http://www.brethren.org/bdm/mission.html

Marbley, A. F. (2007). In the wake of hurricane Katrina delivering crisis mental health services to host communities. Delivering Crisis Mental Health Services. Retrieved from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ784855.pdf

Gilliland, B. E., & James, R. K. (2013).Crisis intervention strategies. Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole, Cengage Learning.


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