Kerala health department to roll out phase 2 of mental health programme for those affected by post-flood trauma

The Health Department is planning to roll out the second phase of its psychosocial care programme, in a bid to reach out to those affected by post-flood mental trauma.

Published: 08th October 2018 07:35 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th October 2018 07:39 AM   |  A+A-

Lorries Kerala floods

Stranded people being evacuated and shifted to relief camps in Taurus, Tata Tippers at Thottumugham near Aluva (File | EPS/Melton Antony)

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Health Department is planning to roll out the second phase of its psychosocial care programme, in a bid to reach out to those affected by post-flood mental trauma.
The one-year-long programme, which will be implemented in collaboration with a US-based NGO, will be launched at a three-day workshop to be held here during the third week of October.

“In the first phase of the health programme, with the help of Asha workers, health workers and psychosocial workers, we tried to map the emotional and mental scars of the flood-survivors,” said an officer with the Health Department.

“The second phase comes close on the heels of the findings of this mapping. In this initiative, a US-based NGO has also extended its support through crowd-funding,” the officer said.  
Health Secretary Rajeev Sadanandan told Express, the initiative will be more like a community outreach programme and the priority will be to identify the cases of post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD) or acute stress disorder or acute mental illness.

“During the second phase, we plan to undertake a population-based study in the affected grama panchayats. Using the service of Asha workers and health workers, effective intervention can be ensured,” said Rajeev.
Meanwhile, nodal officer of the State Mental Health Programme Dr Kiran P S said the second phase of the psychosocial care programme will roll out within two weeks.

According to him, the programme has been divided into various modules including, providing training to Asha workers and facilitators at the ward-level, house visits, appointing counsellors, and setting up a mental health team at the panchayat level. The training to field-level staff will be provided by the Bengaluru-based National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (Nimhans).

According to Dr Jayaprakashan K P, secretary, Kerala State Mental Health Authority, during the workshop that will be convened in Thiruvananthapuram, the field-level staff will share their experiences and necessary changes will be made to the training module based on the feedback.
At present, the Health Department carries out various collaborative projects, including a tie-up with the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) and Nimhans, to address the mental health needs of children affected by the flood.

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