OKMRC Stress Response Team

The Oklahoma Medical Reserve Corps Stress Response Team (SRT) provides mental health response services in the acute aftermath of state, local and national disasters or other catastrophic events. SRT members perform, one or more, of five roles when providing disaster psychosocial assistance. These are:

  • stabilize or treat pre-existing and/or newly developed psychiatric conditions in disaster survivors,
  • provide "psychological first aid" to the acutely affected,
  • provide mental health counseling and support to frontline responders,
  • participate in multidisciplinary disaster health care teams, providing resources and on-the-ground training, and monitoring and supporting the mental health of the team, and
  • help assess a community's mental health needs post disaster so that appropriate programs can be developed and put in place.


    The SRT has been in existence since 2009 and is comprised of volunteers from all areas of the state. SRT membership is made up of licensed mental health professionals and others interested in volunteering to provide behavioral and emotional support to those affected by disaster. All SRT members are encouraged to integrate with their local MRC units. SRT members are required to complete an application for the Oklahoma Medical Reserve Corps, to be found on-line at: www.okmrc.org. SRT members must pass the required background check, be accepted as a member of the OKMRC, and complete the minimum training requirements specified by the OKMRC. All licensed mental health professionals who are members of the OKMRC are members of SRT.

    Key SRT member jobs are Team Member, Team Leader, Coordinator, and Director. Whenever appropriate and possible SRT members are deployed as part of a Team. At a minimum all SRT members shall, by virtual of his or her training and experience, be able to function as a Team Member. Why? Because it is the Team Members who are the heart and soul of the SRT structure and it is the Team Members' actions which will or will not accomplish the purpose of the SRT.

    Possible locations for deployment include, but are not limited to, general population shelters, service centers, community outreach teams, family reception centers, family assistance centers, respite centers, hospitals and hospital emergency rooms, emergency first aid stations, phone banks and hotlines, and points of dispensing centers. In general Team Member duties while on deployment include initiating contact and engagement with survivors and first responders, providing safety and comfort, gathering information regarding current needs and concerns, providing practical assistance, providing connection with social supports, providing information on coping, and providing linkage with collaborative services.

    Also, the SRT offers its members and others numerous disaster-related training seminars. These include instruction in Psychological First Aid, PFLASH (Practical Front Line Assistance for Support and Healing), SRT Leadership Training, and behavioral health consultation in active shooter/hostage incidents.

    The SRT Director is Thomas R. Thomson, M.Ed., LPC, CPM and the SRT Coordinator is John A. Call, Ph.D., J.D., A.B.P.P. If you are a member of the OKMRC and are interested in joining the SRT and/or attending one of our training sessions please contact us at oksrtinc@gmail.com.