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PSYCHOSOCIAL REHABILITATION AS A COMMUNITY DISASTER MANAGEMENT TOOL

Presented by: RENJULAL Y


Psychosocial rehabilitation is the process that deals with abroad range of emotional and social problems and

promotes the restoration of social cohesion and infrastructure as well as the independence and dignity of

individuals and group.

Disaster “An occurrence causing widespread destruction and distress; a catastrophe”

Abstract

Emotional reaction such as guilt, fear, shock, grief vigilance, numbness, intrusive memories and despair are

universal response to disastrous events. Social issues occur aftermaths of a disaster are displacement, changes in

marital status and family structures and featuring widows and single parent families. The vulnerable people are

women, children, aged and disabled. This is followed by psychosocial first-aid, providing immediate psycho-

social intervention helping the affected population to deal with immediate reactions and panic related to loss of

life and property and recovery started.

The “Recovery Journey” model- Recovery is described by Anthony (1993) as a “deeply personal, unique

process of changing one’s attitudes, values, feelings, goals, skills, and/or roles.

Phase 1 Overwhelmed by the disability

Phase 2 Struggling with the disability and rebuilding connections to the self, others, the environment, and

meaning and purpose.

Phase 3 Living with the disability and new connections to the self, others, the environment, and meaning and

purpose.

Phase 4 Living beyond the disability: authenticity, connectedness and contribution.

Psychosocial rehabilitation is a multipronged approach. The intensive psychosocial care and rehabilitation can

be given by trained community workers and the mental health professionals in the rehabilitation phase. The

main challenges are:

 Recognize psychosocial needs of the victims

 Networking, coordination and referrals of various support services among the servicing agencies

 Use skills such as ventilation, empathy, active listening, and social support, externalization of interest,

recreation and spirituality as a part of rehabilitation process


 Address the needs of the children through training school teachers

 Ensure referrals for higher order mental health needs

 Use of specific interventions to avoid dependence.

 Harmonising professional, personal and familial life of rehabilitation workers.

Stresses, anger, Sleeplessness, fear, violence, substance use are Common emotional reactions and behavioural

responses after disasters and may lead to vulnerability.

The Stress-Vulnerability model of mental illness

According the stress-vulnerability model, psychiatric illnesses have a biological basis. This biological basis or

vulnerability can be made worse by stress and substance use, but can be improved by medication and by leading

a healthy lifestyle.