The study, conducted by Professor Daya Somasundaram, currently at the University of Adelaide, is based on published data and qualitative research methods including participatory observation, key informant and focus group interviews, highlights the importance of the family and community in maintaining good mental health. For example, the terrorisation of many Tamil communities and the destruction caused by the tsunami meant many villages were abandoned and the villagers separated. Even when people returned, the village was not the same. The old structures and institutions were no longer functioning and the protective environment, the social fabric, provided by the village was no longer there.
"The natural disaster was a one off catastrophic event that left a trail of destruction and loss," says Somasundaram, "but it did not continue to exert a prolonged effect. As a result the severity of the collective trauma was much less. In fact, having lived through a prolonged war situation has meant that Tamil communities have learned skills and strategies that make them better able to cope with disasters."
The ecological research study suggests that grass roots work within communities may work best. Somasundaram found that the protocol developed by the Transcultural Psychosocial Organization (a WHO collaborating centre, working around the world to relieve the psychosocial problems of people affected by internal conflict and war) was very effectively adapted to the situation in northern Sri Lanka. "Community-level approaches empower the community to look after their own problems," he says, "through psychoeducation to transfer basic psychosocial knowledge and skills, and through encouragement, support , affirmation and re-establishment of traditional practices, rituals, resources and community relationships."
To combat post-disaster mental health problems Somasundaram argues that it is helpful to consider the extent of collective traumatisation. "In the aftermath of war communities suffer from mistrust, suspicion, silence, brutalization, deterioration in morals and values, poor leadership, dependency, passivity and despair. Apart from attending to the immediate basic needs and other acute problems in the rescue and relief phases after a major disaster, rehabilitation, reconstruction and development strategies need to include collective-level interventions. In fact, our experiences show that many individually oriented mental health interventions appear to fair much better when undertaken within an overall framework of a community strategy."
Charlotte Webber | alfa
WAKE-UP provides new treatment option for stroke patients | International study led by UKE
17.05.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf
First form of therapy for childhood dementia CLN2 developed
25.04.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...
A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.
The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...
Cardiovascular tissue engineering aims to treat heart disease with prostheses that grow and regenerate. Now, researchers from the University of Zurich, the Technical University Eindhoven and the Charité Berlin have successfully implanted regenerative heart valves, designed with the aid of computer simulations, into sheep for the first time.
Producing living tissue or organs based on human cells is one of the main research fields in regenerative medicine. Tissue engineering, which involves growing...
A team of scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg investigated optically-induced superconductivity in the alkali-doped fulleride K3C60under high external pressures. This study allowed, on one hand, to uniquely assess the nature of the transient state as a superconducting phase. In addition, it unveiled the possibility to induce superconductivity in K3C60 at temperatures far above the -170 degrees Celsius hypothesized previously, and rather all the way to room temperature. The paper by Cantaluppi et al has been published in Nature Physics.
Unlike ordinary metals, superconductors have the unique capability of transporting electrical currents without any loss. Nowadays, their technological...
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
18.05.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
18.05.2018 | Information Technology
18.05.2018 | Information Technology