April Naturale, PhD, is a traumatic stress specialist with 30 years of experience as a health/mental health care administrator, and a clinician specializing in response to traumatic events. After 9/11, Dr. Naturale directed Project Liberty, the New York State Office of Mental Health (NYSOMH)’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funded mental health response to the World Trade Center disaster, the largest crisis counseling assistance and training program awarded in the program's 30-year history.
Dr. Naturale spends considerable time in the field assisting with operations management and training, public communications and crisis intervention. She was project director for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Disaster Technical Assistance Center (SAMHSA DTAC), and has collaborated on disaster response work with the Veterans Administration’s National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (NCPTSD), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and most states across the nation as well as 7 countries in post disaster and armed conflict situations.
In 2004, she helped launch SAMHSA’s National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, then spent several years working in each of the states affected by Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Wilma, and Ike. She worked with the Mental Health Association–New York City to launch the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Distress Helpline, now known as the Disaster Distress Helpline and to oversee the 9/11 10th Anniversary Healing and Remembrance program. Dr. Naturale was the architect of the Boston Marathon Bombing Behavioral Health response and is currently assisting the states of Nevada and CA determining the needs of the victims of the Rte. 91 Harvest Festival Shooting as well as assisting in program development efforts for the Pulse Nightclub and Parkland Shooting incidents.