Working Group on the Impact of Climate Change on Mental Health and Psychosocial Well-Being: Guidelines for Action

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(1) Lead Coordinator: Inka Weissbecker, PhD
NGO Representative to the United Nations of the International Union of Psychological Science (IUPsyS, in consultative status with DPI and ECOSOC), Associate Research Scientist, University of Louisville Center for Hazards Research and Policy Development, MPH candidate, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115. Tel: (617) 513-3396, Email: . Bio on Dr. Inka Weissbecker

(2) Nancy E. Wallace, LMSW
NGO Representative to the United Nations of the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH). 230 East 78 Street Ste. 27, New York, NY 10021, Tel: 917-842-4733, Email:  Bio on Nancy E. Wallace.


Glenn Albrecht PhD, Associate Professor: Environmental Studies, Discipline of Geography and Environmental Studies, School of Environmental and Life Sciences, (Room 112 Social Science Building), The University of Newcastle, Australia, 2308. Email:

Dr Glenn Albrecht is an environmental philosopher currently working out of the School of Environmental and Life Sciences at the University of Newcastle, Australia. He has a particular interest in the relationship between ecosystem and human health, especially mental health. He is a member of the International Association for Ecology and Health and his research has focussed on the mental health impacts of large-scale development (e.g., mining) and climate change. He has developed the category of psychoterratic or earth-related mental health syndromes of which the new concept of solastalgia or the lived experience of negatively perceived environmental change is an example. His current funded research is to examine the impact of climate change on change in human values and ethics. Glenn will be moving to a new position, Professor of Sustainability, at Murdoch University in Perth, Western Australia, in 2009. 

Elizabeth Carll, PhD, Representative to the United Nations of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies Email: , Tel: 631-754-2424, Fax: 631-754-5032. Elizabeth K. Carll, PhD is a clinical and trauma psychologist in practice in Long Island, New York and consultant to corporations on workplace violence, crisis, trauma and stress. Dr. Carll is the author and editor of numerous publications, most recently (2007) “Trauma Psychology: Issues in Violence, Disaster, Health, and Illness”, Two Volumes (Volume 1: Violence and Disaster and Volume 2: Health and Illness), Praeger. She has established a variety of innovative programs including the first statewide (NYSPA) volunteer disaster mental health program in the nation which she coordinated for 10 years. She is a past president of the Media Psychology Division of the American Psychological Association (APA) and chair of the International Committee of the Trauma Psychology Division of APA. Dr. Carll is a representative to the United Nations from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, vice president of the Communications Coordination Committee for the United Nations and convenor of the Media/ICT Working Group of the UN NGO Committee on Mental Health.

Jennifer Czincz, B.A., Ph.D. Candidate, Clinical Psychology, University of Ottawa, 11 Marie Curie-Centre, for Psychological Services, Ottawa, Ontario, K1N 6N5, Email:  Jennifer is currently a Ph.D. student in Clinical Psychology at the University of Ottawa. Her doctoral dissertation involves examining how the mental health needs of children who have experienced maltreatment are identified and addressed by the child welfare system and practitioners in the community. Jennifer is passionate about applying her research and clinical skills to the area of international development and increasing the visibility of psychology at the global level. Some of her recent endeavors in this area include aiding with the organization and implementation of a research capacity-building workshop held in the Philippines on issues related to mental health, acting as a research coordinator for the Canadian Psychological Association for the purpose of facilitating psychologists on a mission to Eastern Congo, being awarded the Presidential Scholarship at a
youth symposium held at the UN (New York), and being sent as part of a delegation to the Global Forum on Youth and ICT for Development held at the UN (Geneva).

Brian Flynn, LCSW, MA, Director of Admissions and Student Services, Department of Social Work, College of Community and Public Affairs, Binghamton University, PO Box 6000, Binghamton, NY 13902 – 6000, Phone: (607) 777-9164. Brian Flynn is the Director of Admissions and Student Services with the Department of Social Work at Binghamton University. Clinically, he has experience as a psychotherapist and emergency room social worker. He is a member of the Disaster Mental Health Team of the American Red Cross Southern Tier Chapter and helped to provide support following the September 11th attacks, Huricane Katrina and the 2004 Tsunami in Southeast Asia. Brian is developing a Center for Disaster Mental Health which will provide continuing education and serve as a clearinghouse for training, support and information.

Sarah Gogel, LMSW, Clinician and Outreach Coordinator, PARTNERS Program, an Evidence-Based Trauma-Focused Clinical and Research Center at St John's University, New York. Email: Ms. Gogel, a licensed social worker and sociologist from France, is the clinician and outreach coordinator for PARTNERS Program, an evidence-based trauma-focused clinical and research center at St John's University in New York. The PARTNERS Program collaborates with the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) to generate innovative state-of-the-art treatment models and analyses for severely abused and maltreated children, their families and their communities. Sarah has worked in the field of human rights advocacy in France, USA, India, Israel and Nicaragua and speaks 5 languages. She volunteers her skills as a disaster mental health worker for the American Red Cross of Greater New York.

Judy Kuriansky, PhD Faculty, Department of Clinical Psychology, Columbia University Teachers College and Department of Psychiatry, Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons. Representative to the United Nations of the International Association of Applied Psychologists and the World Council of Psychotherapy, Email: "Judy Kuriansky is an internationally respected clinical psychologist, award winning journalist and newspaper columnist, radio and TV commentator and faculty member at Columbia University Teachers College and the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia medical school, and at the Beijing Health Sciences Center . She is a fellow of the American Psychological Association and a representative to the UN for the International Association for Applied Psychology and the World Council for Psychotherapy. She is also an executive committee member of the NGO Committee on Mental Health. An expert on relationships and disaster, Dr. Judy Kuriansky leads workshops worldwide and has done disaster relief around the world. She has authored many books, such as “Beyond Bullets and Bombs, Grassroots Peace Building of Israelis and Palestinians”.

Darlyne G. Nemeth, Ph.D., M.P: Neuropsychology Center of Louisiana , Baton Rouge Louisiana, Representative to the United Nations for the World Council for Psychotherapy, Email:, Dr. Nemeth is currently in practice at the Neuropsychology Center of Louisiana, LLC, Baton Rouge , LA , where she specializes in the areas of Clinical Psychology and Clinical Neuropsychology. Dr. Nemeth is currently serving as Vice President for the World Council for Psychotherapy (WCP), she is a fellow of the American Psychological Association (APA) and she has considerable experience in individual, marital, family, and group therapy. She has been nationally and internationally recognized for her Hurricane Anniversary Wellness Workshops, which, in cooperation with many government, religious, and professional organizations, were offered to the victims/survivors of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in the Summer 2006. She is also chairing an International WCP Committee for the development of a world-wide Disaster/Trauma Relief professional certification process.

Tamasin Ramsay, PhD Candidate, Monash University , New York , NGO affiliation: Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University, Tel: 1 347 221 4932 (mobile), +61 3 96995825 (home), Email: Ms. Ramsay is currently undertaking doctoral studies under Professor Lenore Manderson at Monash University . She has a professional background as a paramedic, and a long-term personal interest in matters of faith. With a degree in health science and a graduate degree in medical anthropology from the University of Melbourne , her area of interest is the way in which spirituality alters peoples lived experience of disaster.

Norma P. Simon, EdD, ABPP, Representative to the United Nations for the International Association of Applied Psychology, APA Associate for Special Projects, Email: Dr. Norma P. Simon is a member of the International Association of Applied Psychologists UN team and an associate member of the APA NGO UN Team. She served on a number of other APA boards, committees and task forces such as the Accreditation Committee of APA. She has served as President of the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) and ASPPB. She Formerly chaired the APA Ethics Committee (1997), and the Board of Professional Affairs (1989). Dr Simon has written and given many professional addresses on many topics including training, ethics and practice issues. Dr. Simon received the APA Karl Heiser Award, was the first recipient of the John D Black Award for outstanding contribution to the practice of Counseling Psychology from Division 17 of APA and the Morton Berger award from ASPPB. The Norma P. Simon Award of ASPPB was named for her. She received the Distinguished Psychologist of the year award from Division 42 (Independent Practice) in 2004.

David M. Simpson, PhD, AICP: Director, Center for Hazards Research and Policy Development and Fifth Third Bank Professor of Community Development, School of Urban and Public Affairs, University of Louisville, 426 West Bloom Street, Louisville , KY 40208, Email: Dr. Simpson is the Fifth Third Bank Professor of Community Development at the School of Urban and Public Affairs and Director of the Center for Hazards Research and Policy Development. He has 17 years experience in disaster research and multiple grant-funded projects currently totaling over $3.5 million since 2003. Dr. Simpson has received funding from organizations such as the National Science Foundation (NSF), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the Department of Homeland Security, and has conducted field research on such events as 9/11, Hurricane Isabel, and Hurricane Katrina. He serves on hazards-related committees at local and national levels, recently completing a three-year appointment to the National Academies of Science, Disasters Roundtable Steering Committee.

Sandra E. Sephton, PhD: Associate Professor, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, University of Louisville, Life Sciences Building , Room 317, Louisville , KY 40202, Email: Sandra Sephton is an Associate Professor of Psychology, Associate Scientist at the James Graham Brown Cancer Center , and Co-Director of the Biobehvioral Research Laboratory at the University of Louisville . She investigates biological mediators of psychosocial effects in health, focusing on psychoneuroimmune relationships. Her research supports that of other investigators who have provided evidence that childhood trauma may result in adult neuroendocrine dysfunction, and that social support, emotional expression, and existential or spiritual coping styles may protect normal endocrine and immune function in individuals who have experienced trauma or chronic illness.

Edward Sieveking Emery PhD, International School for Mental Health, Representative to the United Nations of World Information Transfer, Email: Dr. Sieveking Emery is a psychoanalyst who is on the Board of Consultants of the Psychoanalytic Review and an Associate Editor of the Journal Psychotherapy and Politics International as well as a faculty member of the International School for Mental Health. He is also a member of the Board for Humiliation and Human Dignity Studies and he is on the Advisory Board of International Equal Health Care Access, among other affiliations. He is a Representative to the UN for World Information Transfer, and he has organized and moderated a panel on Water and Environmental Security. He has spoken on various topics at the UN including on the impact of environmental stressors on children.

Maya K. Tsekenis, Fordham University, Graduate School of Social Service , MSW Candidate, United Nations, International Federation of Social Workers Intern, Healthy Connections, Mental Health Intern, Email: Maya Tsekenis is in her second year in the Master of Social Work Program at Fordham University . She specializes in Global Service with a focus on clinical work with immigrants and refugees and she is President of the Global Social Work Student Association. Furthermore, she is studying international social welfare policy and community development in a global context. Her interests lie in providing competent mental health services on a global scale and further educating people on the importance of mental health during times of disaster.

Sandra A. Witt, LCSW-R, The Family & Children’s Society, 257 Main St., Binghamton, NY 13905, 607-729-6206, Email: Sandra Witt is a psychotherapist, clinical supervisor and trainer at The Family & Children’s Society in Binghamton New York. She is a volunteer for the American Red Cross Southern Tier Chapter where she is the Disaster Mental Health Lead and a Certified American Red Cross Trainer. She was one of the first Disaster Mental Health responders in New York City following the September 11th attacks and has worked on numerous local and state disasters; coordinating the local and national disaster mental health response to the 2006 flood in the Southern Tier of New York. She is currently in the development process of establishing a Center for Disaster Mental Health. The Center will provide both a continuing education certificate program in the field of disaster mental health through Binghamton University’s Department of Social Work, and act as a clearing house for information and training. She is an adjunct instructor with Binghamton University.

Rebecca Winkel, NSSR, Cognitive Science Lab, 80 Fifth Avenue, Room 503, New York, NY 10011. Email: Rebecca Winkel holds masters' degrees in Counseling and Developmental Psychology and is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Cognitive Psychology at the New School for Social Research studying flashbulb and collective memory.  Recently, she consulted for the WFP in West Africa where she evaluated and assisted in the management of a refugee camp's Supplemental Feeding Program for severely malnourished children.  She is a WTC Tribute Center docent and a NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Medical Reserves Corps member.