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Disaster And Trauma Response And Prevention

Joshua D. Feder, M.D.

Child & Family Psychiatry located in Solana Beach, CA

From natural disasters to wars, in the moment, after action, and in prevention, Dr. Joshua Feder has worked in the field of psychiatric trauma throughout his career. Dr. Feder developed courses to help health care workers treat Battle Fatigue in the US Navy prior to the first Gulf War, conducted research on building resilience in children impacted by conflict over the past decade, and he currently designs large scale responses to natural disasters and wars nationally and globally as Co-Chair of the Disaster & Trauma Issues Committee of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.

Contact Dr Feder for Disaster and Trauma Response

As Co-Chair of the Disaster & Trauma Issues Committee of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Dr. Feder is working to develop a nationwide and global system of support for fellow professionals to receive support and training to help their countries and communities plan for and respond to the impact of natural disasters and armed conflict on children and families. Prior to his elevation to Co-chair, Dr. Feder served as the Disaster & Trauma Liaison to the AACAP Committee on Global Mental Health and International Relations. In that capacity Dr. Feder developed a network of colleague contacts that has served him well in the efforts to build relationships that can better withstand the stresses of disaster response and secondary trauma inherent to the field of disaster psychiatry. In 2023 Dr. Feder was named a Fulbright Specialist on the topics of psychiatric trauma and developmental conditions by the State Department of the United States.

Dr Feder is the Programmatic Lead on the Executive Committee of the International Network on Peace Building with Young Children (INPB), a member of the Early Childhood Peace Consortium. Dr. Feder’s work includes program development and policy advocacy related to peace building in regions impacted by armed conflict, with ongoing research and projects in Northern Ireland, the Balkan region, and the Middle East. To help drive these projects, Dr. Feder founded the group Resilience Through Relationships, a pay-it-forward transdisciplinary group of professionals who donate time to offer training in communities worldwide where there is a need to build capacity for trauma informed relationship-based approaches to care.

Dr. Feder recently spoke at a high-level meeting of the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly launching his new book, Foundations for a Peaceful World: The Transformative Power of Early Childhood Education to Promote Peace and Social Cohesion. The book features Dr Feder’s development and research on the Revised Toddler Module of the Media Initiative for Children (RTM-MIFC) a scalable program that teaches staff to use responsive caregiving with toddlers and also to help staff help parents to do the same, with excellent early research improvements in measures of  child social emotional problem solving and staff and parent stress. Here in the US, Dr Feder serves with the State of California Emergency Medical Services Authority, where he deployed in Southern California during the COVID-19 pandemic to administer vaccinations to those who wanted them.

Dr Feder is also active in the Federal Emergency Management Administration Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT). As a CERT team member, Dr. Feder has participated in local drills as an on-site incident commander, mass casualty triage coordinator, teaches classes on managing psychological trauma in mass disaster situations, and participates in the biweekly CERT HAM radio communications network, rotating into the role of Net Control on repeater and simplex channels.

Dr. Feder served on the multiyear American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Resource Group on Youth at the Border, consulting on issues related to the care of unaccompanied children and has volunteered to assist refugee families seeking asylum as they transition from  Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention centers to placements with US families while they await adjudication of their cases.

In his capacity of CO-Chair of Disaster & Trauma, Dr. Feder serves as a liason to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Resource Group on Climate, supporting education and training of healthcare professionals on the impact and management of climate factors on mental health.

Dr. Feder uses a reflective approach to support Trauma Informed Care, and he has authored and edited multiple articles on psychiatric trauma, including on the topic of complex trauma, when children experience overwhelming stress and who have also lost their main support people, as well as a volume on child and adolescent refugees in a 2024 issue of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America.