Psychosocial support in emergency situations
Conference object (Published version)
MetadataShow full item record
In recent decades we have witnessed a growing number of major accidents and emergencies caused by natural hazards (floods, earthquakes, cyclones) and human factors (chemical and nuclear accidents, conflicts, terrorism). In such situations, people’s lives are fundamentally changed and accompanied by various social consequences: loss of loved ones, loss of control over one’s own life, loss of the sense of security, hope and initiative, social infrastructure, access to services and assets. Reactions may be various; shock, tears, anger, rage, a sense of hopelessness and an anxiety are just part of the whole range of unpleasant experiences. However, the intensity of the stress responses differs among individuals, but also communities, and thus the needs for interventions are different. The role of organizations dealing with the protection and rescue is to provide immediate assistance and protection, and also psychosocial assistance and support. The psychosocial support is the process of fac...ilitating the recovery of individuals, family and communities from the effects of hazards and it plays a key role in the interventions at major accidents involving large number of victims. Psychosocial support means that in the approach to a person two dimensions are involved influencing each other mutually: psychological (inner, emotional and meditative processes, feelings and reactions of individual) and social (relationships with other people, family networks, social values and culture of the community). The third dimension involves the first responders. Stress can initiate the development of depression, depressive disorders, anxiety, professional burn-out, depersonalization, distress, emotional exhaustion and related mental health problems, as well as other indicators of psychological distress among members of rescue teams. Bearing in mind the importance of psychosocial programs of the nineties, their implementation is supported in many projects and it is proposed that the psychosocial care becomes an integral part of the emergency response of the public health care system.
Keywords:emergency situations / community / depression / mental health problems / psychosocial assistance
Source:Thematic Conference Proceedings of International Significance. Vol. 2 / International Scientific Conference “Archibald Reiss Days”, Belgrade, 3-4 March 2015, 2015
- Belgrade : Academy of Criminalistic and Police Studies