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This 16mm film is one in a strange series made by American Civil Defense in the early 1970's for various preparations for disasters of all kinds. I transferred this reel with my Eiki Telecine. Enjoy!
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By Fran

14 thoughts on “Civil defense: psychological response 1975”
  1. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Pen Fold says:

    To me, this seems to be not a psychology session aimed at helping the people. It's more like an example of psychological evaluation. The psychologist doesn't give advice or help directly with what the people are saying, he is probing and also using the power of suggestion to evaluate the weaknesses in each person's inner self. Quite interesting.

  2. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Rob Jose says:

    Great film. In 8th grade (~1978) our teacher handed out booklets (books, really) from Civil Defense called "Your Chance To Live". It was filled with what to do in just about any disaster but geared towards school kids.

  3. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Hott Puppy says:

    You really can't prepare for PTSD or know how you will react. My nephew is in Special Forces and did many tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. (He's a West Point grad). He came out OK so far, but some of his men have had problems adjusting. Each person's tolerance is different and once that tipping point is reached….

  4. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Herb Craven says:

    Thanks for posting this, Fran! Hugh Sidey's voice was the authoritative voice of information for many of us during my childhood. Whenever I heard it, I knew to stop, listen, and think about what he was saying. It always made me step outside of my comfortable, youthful bliss and consider the world around me in a more adult way. I may not have slept as well after doing so, but it did make me more mindful of the complexity of life.

  5. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Lyfan Deth says:

    Today, emergency responders are routinely taught "psychological first aid". Many cops even carry stuffed animals in the trunk of their car, to pacify young children. It is a very quietly unspoken but common topic these days. Like the acknowledgement of PTSD, from many causes.

  6. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Scott Wilson says:

    It's interesting to think about the psychological effects we'll see as our adventure through climate change unfolds.

  7. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars FXM says:

    Ah! Peter Thomas! (Edited after another poster corrected Fran's description.) I instantly recognised that voice from countless documentaries and science shows (Nova in particular) when I was a kid in the 70s and early 80s, but never knew his name. The acting is even quite good for this type of film. Thank you Fran, I love these nuggets of the past.

  8. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Javier García Prieto says:

    Thanks about this video Fran. I was civil defense sub director of Mexico city many years ago.

    It's different here than in US. Here politics rob every coin and because of that, people die in horrible ways and they dont care, so we as citizens have to do every that we can to do the right thing.

    We even do risk atlas by ourselves. So we have to do everything in our power to fight narco government and help ourselves and other people.

    Thanks Fran for everything.

  9. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Jack O'Neil says:

    Having been involved with Veterans and First Responders, it's regrettable that simple and effective therapies advanced in the 1930's and 1940's, and somewhat glimpsed here for many (or most) seem to have been replaced with drugs. Much easier and profitable to push pills to provide temporary intervention of symptoms than to engage in what can be months of one on one interaction with a highly trained and high paid, and experienced professional.

  10. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Bruce Wachta says:

    Is that the narrator voice they use for Forensic Files And New Detectives. I know it used to be Peter Thomas.

  11. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Daniel Bingamon says:

    This reminds me of something in the past. Getting robbed at knife-point was very traumatic. It stays with you for a number of years. After it happened it felt like someone was always there watching and ready to victimize you again. I heard the guy coming but I grew up out in the country not suspecting someone would stick a knife in my face as I got out of the car. In the city for one year, after that happened I moved back out.

  12. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Keri Szafir says:

    Interesting intro 🙂
    Self-blaming as a trauma response, PTSD therapy and other interesting psychological topics. I wouldn't expect civil defence films covering these, and yes – psychological resilience and coping mechanism play an important yet underestimated role in emergency preparedness. It's easy to say "don't panic" or "stop beating yourself up", but harder to do. To think it was only 2010s that the recent generations (millennial and gen-Z) pushed the widespread discourse about PTSD, or mental health in general. This talk was needed decades ago.

    Oh, and your usual CD duck and cover footage. Who wouldn't expect that?

  13. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Bill Kates says:

    Interesting method to making this film… It seems the people being "interviewed" are actors improvising with a set of talking points, filmed cinema-verite' style, if I'm not mistaken. Perhaps they were people who had undergone these events… but I'm not certain of that.

  14. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Bill Kates says:

    The music over the credits is intense and psychedelic… is that the original?? The Hugh Sidey narration is iconic! I believe he was the narrator of the Traveler's Insurance exhibit at the NY World's Fair in 1964-65, "The Triumph Of Man". I used to have the souvenir record from that….

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