Bangalore International Centre had arranged a talk on “Disaster changes everything for survivors”- Mental health aspects of disasters and interventions by Prof. R Srinivasa Murthy on Saturday, 11th July, 2015 at 6.30 PM.
Prof. Srinivasa Murthy in his talk narrated how living through a disaster, changes the lives of the general population. The bubble of ‘immortality’ is burst and survivors experience a wide range of ‘losses’. There are biological changes resulting from stress of the disaster experiences. Among the survivors, there are a variety of distress experiences and increased prevalence of mental disorders. He showed some slides and videos about Bhopal Tragedy and Nepal Earth quake, to illustrate the extent of human misery such disasters cause.
He explained that there is a trajectory in terms of the coverage of the population and the nature of the mental health effects. There are higher rates of all dimensions of mental health in the survivors of disasters. Women and children are the most vulnerable. About one third experience persistent mental health effects. He said that there have been many innovative approaches to address the mental health needs ranging from empowerment of individuals, school based interventions to community level interventions. He regretted that the major rehabilitation aspects often get obfuscated by compensation and legal aspects of the tragedy.
His narrative, simple and straight, won the admiration of the audience which heard him with rapt attention.
The Q & A session after the talk was informative and interesting.