Jacobs contributes to book about the consequences of terror in U.S.

Jacobs contributes to book about the consequences of terror in U.S. According to the Institute of Medicine (part of the National Academies of Science) the Oklahoma City bombing, the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, and the anthrax attacks in the fall of 2001 have raised questions about the impact of terrorism on the psychological health of the nation and how well the public health infrastructure is able to meet the psychological needs that will likely result.

To help answer these questions, Gerard A. Jacobs, Ph.D., tenured professor of psychology at The University of South Dakota, has helped write and contributed to a new book, published by the IOM, titled Preparing for the Psychological Consequences of Terrorism: A Public Health Strategy.

The book is essentially a report of the work done by the IOM's Committee on Responding to the Psychological Consequences of Terrorism, of which Dr. Jacobs is a member. The committee was commissioned to develop recommendations for the federal governments preparation for and response to terrorist attacks in the United States.

The book highlights some of the critical issues in responding to the psychological effects of terrorism and provides possible options for intervention. The committee offers an example for a public health strategy that may serve as a base from which plans to prevent and respond to the psychological consequences of a variety of terrorism events can be formulated.

The book includes recommendations for training and education of service providers, ensuring appropriate guidelines for the protection of service providers, community preparation, and developing public health surveillance for pre-event, event, and post-event factors�leading to psychological consequences.

Dr. Jacobs is also an author of the World Health Organization's Tool for the Rapid Assessment of Mental Health Needs of Refugees, Displaced and Other Populations Affected by Conflict and Post-Conflict Situations: A community-oriented assessment.

Currently, Dr. Jacobs is the director of the Disaster Mental Health Institute at USD. He is also an officer with the American Red Cross Disaster Services Human Resources (the national disaster team) and the American Red Cross Critical Response Team (which responds to mass casualty events and terrorist attacks against the United States), and served as the Red Cross National Consultant for Disaster Mental Health from 1992 to 2000.

His disaster responses have ranged from the impact of an oil fire in a remote rural community, to the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, as well as numerous airplane crashes and natural disasters.

Dr. Jacobs was a member of the American Psychological Association's (APA) Advisory Committee for the national Disaster Response Network and also served as a member of the APA's national task force to study the responses to the Oklahoma City bombing.

In addition, Dr. Jacobs serves as a consultant to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

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