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Psychological Help for Trauma Victims of Disasters, for example Tsunami Victims

Abstract: Disasters like the tsunami cause severe mental health problems. Counselling and psychological support may help victims and people who care for the victims.

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Psychological Help for Trauma Victims of Disasters, for example Tsunami Victims

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Question(s): 
Written by: Dr. Martin Winkler
First version: 22 Jul 2008.
Latest revision: 10 Jan 2009.

Is there any psychological help for trauma victims of disasters (tsunami)?

Answer:

Disasters like the recent flood and earthquake (tsunami) affect a huge group of people in a life-threatening situation. The impact of these disasters is greatest in developing countries where sufficient reserves and resources are lacking for many people. Even with international support no planned strategies for such an event will be sufficient and many people do not have any access to psychological support.

The psychological impact of such a disaster may not only have consequences for the victims and their relatives but also for anyone who is caring for these people and offers help. Symptoms of trauma/PTSD .

The most important task at first is to provide basic needs for these people, including food, drinking water, shelter, emergency medical help and more. But we must not forget the large psychological consequences of this kind of trauma event. Since sufficient psychiatric or psychotherapeutical help is present in most countries, the Internet may give at least some sort of basic information.

The experiences of people affected by the tsunami are terrible:

  • your life and the lifes of your relatives are threatened
  • many relatives or close friends and colleagues may have died or are lost
  • homelessness and loss of personal belongings
  • somatic illness due to lack of water and food.

Here is a directory of links related to trauma and help for victims of the tsunami disaster in December 2004:

  • with a lot of information and support options
  • Very good and comprehensive guide published by people in Sri Lanka! with some basic information of the
  • Medline Plus information about trauma
  • Basic information about tsunami help
  • Emergency self help with EMDR

Espanol

If you have any additional links or texts (esp. foreign language texts) feel free to share this information and post a message to us. We will try to include it in the directory or pages of Crocodilu to allow public access. Thanks!

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