Hudson Valley woman volunteers with Red Cross to help people recover from natural disasters
A Hudson Valley woman has devoted her life to helping people mentally recover from natural disasters worldwide.
Dr. Amy Nitza is currently in Fresno, California responding to the creek wildfires.
Along with being director of the Institute for Disaster Mental Health at SUNY New Paltz, she is also a Red Cross volunteer.
Nitza has been there in the days following many tragedies by helping people mentally recover.
“People need a sense of safety. They need a sense of calm…,” says Dr. Nitza. “They need to get back a sense of control, and they need hope.”
Some of the natural disasters she’s assisted with include Haiti’s earthquake and Hurricane Maria.
“There’s not much we can do to fix the situation,” says Dr. Nitza. “There are no magic words that can make everything better, but what we can do is be a supportive presence while people struggle.”
News 12 is told the Institute for Disaster Mental Health is in partnership with the Hudson Valley Red Cross chapter to teach people how to support those suffering from natural disasters.
Dr. Nitza says one of the reasons she values the work from the Red Cross is because it recognizes the importance of the emotional toll disasters can have.
As one of three mental health responders in Fresno, she plans on lending a listening ear and kind words to support those dealing with difficult times.