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ASPR TRACIE: Module 3A - Preview: Cognitive Tools for Mitigating Compassion Fatigue and Secondary Traumatic Stress

Alternative Text for Time-Based Media

The following is a text alternative description for Preview: Cognitive Tools for Mitigating Compassion Fatigue and Secondary Traumatic Stress.

[Descriptive Text for the title slide: Logo for the US Department of Health and Human Services. ASPR Saving lives, Protecting Americans]


Narrator:  Welcome to “Cognitive Tools for Mitigating Compassion Fatigue and Secondary Traumatic Stress.” This webinar is part of a series of modules sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, or ASPR’s Technical Resources, Assistance Center, and Information Exchange, or TRACIE.

ASPR TRACIE works closely with healthcare facilities, coalitions, ASPR Recovery staff, and HPP partners across the country and has repeatedly heard from disaster affected communities that disaster behavioral health recovery has been challenging for the healthcare providers involved in recent natural disasters and no-notice events.

Each of the modules we’ve developed includes a preview and a longer webinar.

The three topics are:

  1. Addressing Compassion Fatigue and Behavioral Health Needs for Healthcare Providers;
  2. Organizational Behavioral Health and Wellness for Executive Level Healthcare Facility Staff; and
  3. Healthcare Provider Cognitive Strengthening Preparedness Program.


Descriptive Text for Slide 2:
ASPR TRACIE was developed as a healthcare emergency preparedness information gateway to address the need for the following:

  • Enhanced technical assistance
  • A comprehensive, one-stop, national knowledge center for healthcare system preparedness
  • Multiple ways to efficiently share and receive information between various entities, including peer-to-peer
  • A way to leverage and better integrate support (serving as a force multiplier)

Narrator: ASPR TRACIE launched on September 30th, 2015. The development and functionality of ASPR TRACIE are collaborative, involving multiple HHS Operating Divisions and other federal government departments and agencies; local, state, and regional government agencies, national associations, nonprofit organizations, and private sector partners.

TRACIE is comprised of three domains: Technical Resources, which houses our Resource Library and subject matter expert-reviewed Topic Collections, the Assistance Center, where users can receive personalized support and responses to requests for information and technical assistance, and the Information Exchange, an area for password-protected discussion among vetted users in near real-time.

ASPR TRACIE has also developed several resources specific to disaster behavioral health; these are housed on our Select Disaster Behavioral Health Resources page.

Now, I’ll turn it over to Dr. April Naturale, who developed and will lead all of these modules.


April: You’ve had an especially stressful day -- you’ve been on your feet for hours in a medical shelter, providing care to close to 100 people, some of whom you know from your own community. You feel disconnected from your loved ones as you haven’t been home in a couple of days, and you notice yourself feeling triggered, responding to some patients and clients with one-liners, in a clipped way. If only there was some way to strengthen your mind, so that when you feel emotions, you can rein them in, that you know what to do.


April: Hello and welcome to this preview of the ASPR TRACIE webinar on Cognitive Strengthening.      
My name is Dr. April Naturale and I am a traumatic stress specialist who provides disaster and emergency response and preparedness consultation to responders and community members.

This webinar will teach you about cognitive strengthening, and I will tell you about tools that can help to mitigate or reduce the incidence of Compassion Fatigue and Secondary Traumatic Stress, as well as help you to recognize and address some of the distress signs and symptoms when they do occur.

For those of you who have not participated in the previous webinars in the series, we will do a very brief review of Compassion Fatigue and Secondary Traumatic Stress as they relate to health and behavioral health professionals just to make sure that everyone is on the same page.


April: We’ll teach you about cognitive reframing and take you through some exercises on that and mindfulness. We’ll explain the importance of tools such as attention diversion, engaging socially, and we’ll help you to learn more about your triggers and how to communicate and express your needs in a positive manner.


April: There are many resources that can inform you further about acute stress, posttraumatic stress, secondary traumatic stress, and compassion fatigue. ASPR TRACIE and SAMHSA DTAC have Educational Fact Sheets, webinars and podcasts that are free and accessible online. Some are for survivors, other are for helpers, some are for parents and other caregivers, check them out.

And for those of you who are interested in the research, the National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder’s website will bring you to the Pilots database which is the most comprehensive collection of literature on these subjects.  These articles are also free and downloadable once you register.

Descriptive Text for Slide 6:       

  • ASPR TRACIE Select Disaster Behavioral Health Resources Page
  • SAMHSA Disaster Technical Assistance Center (DTAC)
    • Disaster Distress Helpline:
    • Disaster Responder Portal:
  • National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder:

Professional Quality of Life (PROQOL):


April: Access the full training today to find out how you can keep yourself feeling well and healthy and functioning at your best, especially in emergency and disaster response situations.

If you need technical assistance please reach out to us at ASPR TRACIE through any of the modalities noted on this slide here. Thank you.

Descriptive Text for Slide 7:       
Contact ASPR TRACIE for additional information:
1-844-5-TRACIE (844-587-2243)

Voiceover: Produced using taxpayer funding by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

[The video ends.]