Post flood, health teams help people overcome mental trauma

Post flood, health teams help people overcome mental trauma
The flood has taken a toll on the mental well-being of a lot of people. File photo

Kozhikode: The August floods which devastated Kerala has taken a toll on the mental health and well-being of a lot of people. To help people overcome the trauma caused by the devastation, a group of psychologists, psychiatrists, and counsellors are at work in 10 districts.

State nodal officer (mental health) Kiran PS said Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) workers in the affected panchayats were helping them identify people in need.

Soon after the flood and landslides, the teams started offering their services at the relief camps. Now, they were focussing on individual care at homes as most of the camps were being closed down.

Core teams were formed in 10 districts soon after the rain, Dr Kiran said. "The core teams are formed with one nodal officer and four mental health officials under him/her, including psychiatrists, psychologists, and counsellors. One of them would be designated to give reports to the government on the condition of affected people in the district," he said.

"In the camps, we deal mostly with three kinds of people – those suffering from anxiety and depression, those already under medication, and the third, those showing withdrawal symptoms. Now, since they are returning to their homes, ASHA workers are visiting individual houses and collecting details of those who require support. Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Kannur, and Kasaragod are exempted from this,” he said.

More ASHA workers were needed in the most-affected regions. The home visits started a week ago and support was offered to nearly 47,000 people, Dr Kiran said.

The team members are advised to give special attention to small children and the elderly who need reassurance post calamities.

“The children would be going to their schools after much mental trauma and mostly after losing their clothes, uniforms, and books. They need special care and attention,” Dr Kiran said.

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