Asian Disaster Management News (Volume 20/2013) ADPC: Asian Disaster Management News (Volume 20/2013)

Published on: 10/04/2013

Language: English

Author(s): Asian Disaster Preparedness Center

Department: Public Health in Emergencies

Type: Asian Disaster Management News

File size: 2.54 MB


Publication Overview/Description

Dear Readers,

Asian Disaster Preparedness Center’s vision of “safer communities and sustainable development through disaster risk reduction” extends to all aspects of our activities. Our work in Public Health in Emergencies is no exception. By focusing on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support, ADPC seeks to alleviate the trauma felt by individuals in communities who have experienced disaster. ADPC has initiated its Mental Health and Psychosocial Support initiative, with support from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) and technical support from the Center for Crisis Psychology (CCP). We aim to continue building capacity regionally in this field and thus hope to reduce the widespread psychosocial conse-quences of disasters.

The Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergencies Training Program was conceptualized in 2009 by MFA, CCP and ADPC. It was pilot tested in Bangladesh with BRAC, as the lead partner-agency of the program from January 2011 to May 2012. Since then, the program has been implemented in other vulnerable countries, such as Vietnam.

The psychological impacts of disasters, as observed in disaster events such as the Indian Ocean Tsunami in 2004, Cyclone Nargis in 2005, the Pakistan Earthquake in 2005, the Sichuan Earthquake in 2008 and the Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami in 2011, are immense and are unfortunately often underestimated. Those that are affected, as articles in this edition of Asian Disaster Management News elaborate, hesitate to seek support for fear of being stereotyped as a “mental health patient”. Misguided stigmas surrounding mental health support in emergencies are a reality for individuals experiencing trauma throughout South and Southeast Asia. Our work in mental health and psychosocial support in emergencies aims to minimize stigmas associated with the topic.

This edition of Asian Disaster Management News hopes to build an awareness of
the mental health and psychosocial support needed in Asia. In the upcoming
months, victims of Rana Plaza building collapse of 25 April 2013, like many other
individuals in disaster-affected areas across the region, will need continued mental
health and psychosocial support. We hope to cooperate with other actors in the
region to minimize the psychological impact of disasters and to provide the support
required to those in need. In order to strengthen mental health and psychosocial
support in our region, we need to focus and direct our efforts in policy development,
stakeholder relations, capacity development for health care providers and trauma
alleviation for community members.


N.M.S.I Arambepola