Spiritual & Emotional Care

Spiritual and emotional care is a unique service function in disaster response that is well-suited for the local church. While other groups are well equipped to provide food, water, shelter, clothing, and recovery assistance, the local church is better positioned to meet the spiritual and emotional needs of disaster victims.

In times of disaster, people lose their sense of safety and security and, often, deep questions about God and faith emerge. Moments like these require caring church communities to provide comfort, hope and help. Disaster victims are often vulnerable and hurting and simply need a listening ear to bring relief to stresses brought on by loss. Click here to see common emotional responses to each phase of disaster response.

Pastors and laypersons interested in spiritual and emotional care are encouraged to obtain training needed to prepare them for the unique challenges and opportunities that arise during disasters. This training is often referred to as Critical Incident Stress Management or CISM. There are several faith-based and secular organizations that offer CISM training.

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