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Call for Papers: Responding to Individuals and Communities After Traumatic Events

Submission Deadline: May 31, 2020

The editorial staff of Psychological Services, the official journal of APA Division 18 (Psychologists in Public Services), is extending an invitation for manuscripts that will be considered for a special package of articles on responding to individuals and communities after traumatic events. Philip Magaletta, Shirley Glynn and Jeffrey Goodie will serve as co-editors.


Disasters, violence and other traumatic events in our communities continue to be of growing concern.

Public service psychologists are often at the forefront of responding to the communities affected by such traumatic events.

Through prevention efforts, risk management and treatment response interventions public service psychologists offer screening and care to those affected.

This package of articles will focus on empirical explorations of organized responses to traumatic events from psychological, stress and/or mental health first aid to critical incident stress debriefing and other new and innovative Employee Assistance Program offerings that offer an organized response to communities after traumatic events.

Special emphasis is sought on papers where the response relates to work by psychologists providing services in specific public settings, including community and state hospitals, the criminal justice systems, police, public safety, protective service and defense environments, and psychologists in Indian Country and veterans affairs as well as to the public following disasters and acts of violence.

The following types of manuscripts are welcome:

  • Research that expands the current knowledge base of Psychological, Stress and/or Mental Health First Aid in organized care settings.

  • Studies on the prevention of targeted and/or workplace violence in a variety of organized care settings.

  • Manuscripts detailing clinical responses to disasters or violence in workplace settings.

  • Evaluations and innovative pilot programs of psychological services such as debriefing and related intervention efforts following traumatic events and critical incidents for staff across the range of first responders and others practicing across the police, public safety systems and settings.

  • Manuscripts detailing clinical responses to and evaluations of methods used in responding to traumatic events with communities.

  • Articles that summarize / case studies that present the coordination of psychological services in response to disaster, violence, and other traumatic events.

  • Research studies on group-based suicide postvention services.

  • Articles on “safe messaging” as a psychologically informed service after a disaster and/or trauma event.

  • Innovations that are novel, creative, and/or represent new training strategies and solutions for interventions addressing responses to traumatic events with individuals and communities.

  • Innovative violence prevention and intervention efforts involving community-based research projects, community programming, outreach efforts, engagement or retention solutions, intervention improvements, program development, workforce education and trainings, prevention programming, etc. Empirical (quantitative and qualitative) papers, meta-analytic/review papers, and theoretical-based papers are all welcomed for submission.

The deadline for the receipt of submissions is May 31, 2020.


Please follow the Instructions to Authors information located on the Psychological Services homepage.

Manuscripts must be submitted electronically through the Manuscript Submission Web Portal.

Remember to prepare the manuscript in APA style, per the 6th or 7th Edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.

Please specify in your cover letter that the submission is intended for the special section on responding to traumatic events and address your letter to Dr. Phil Magaletta, Associate Editor, Psychological Services.

All papers submitted will be initially screened by the editorial board and then sent out for blind peer review, if evaluated as appropriate for the journal.

For further questions related to this special section, please contact Dr. Magaletta at

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