Nimhans to play the shrink in Uttarakhand

Nimhans to play the shrink in Uttarakhand

As an increasing number of people continue to be rescued and many more are left stranded in Uttarakhand, authorities have found that they have another issue to deal with: Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and other psycho-social problems.

Sources in the National Disaster Management Authority said the Centre had, in a bid to address this problem, called upon the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (Nimhans), which has dispatched a team of four specialists to the flood-ravaged state on Thursday morning.

The role of the team would be to provide psycho-social rehabilitation, the source said, adding that a team of four specialists had left for Delhi early on Thursday.

The team comprises three psychiatrists – Dr Suresh B M, Dr Naveen Kumar and Dr Sreekar (the team leader), and, one psychologist, Dr Roopesh.

While no one from the team was immediately available for comment, Dr Satish Chandra, Director, Nimhans, confirmed the development and said, “It is on the request of the Centre that our team has left for Uttarakhand. We have a specialisation in this regard and this is not the first time the Ministry of Health is using our expertise.”

According to Chandra, the team reached Delhi on Thursday afternoon, following which it left for Dehradun, from where it will proceed to Gauchar.

He said that while the primary task of the team was to assess the situation and identify survivors for treatment, they are also entrusted with the task of training local authorities and other personnel there.

Nimhans has been involved in providing psycho-social support and mental health services in the event of natural and human-made disasters for the last twenty-five years.

Based on the experiences of providing psycho-social support and mental health services to survivors of disasters, he said the institute had evolved and standardised a ‘Normalisation Model’, which emphasises on the involvement of local community resources such as governmental, non-governmental sectors and community groups who could carry out simple and effective community-based interventions to alleviate emotional and social problems of survivors and various risk groups.

“These community manpower resources need to be empowered through various capacity-building exercises to overcome the problems,” a source said.

“The various standardised materials that need to be used in accordance with the rescue, relief, rehabilitation, and rebuilding phases are given in this portal.”

Donate to Red Cross

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, on Thursday appealed to the people of Karnataka to generously contribute towards relief work. He said that the people can contribute to the Red Cross Society, India Chapter, for ensuring that the funds are used towards the relief work. The Red Cross has already sent several of its teams to Uttarakahand to aid in the rescue and relief operations.

Citizens can send their donations by way of crossed cheques or DDs in the name of the Indian Red Cross, Karnataka Branch, and send them to the Principal Secretary, Red Cross, Karnataka State Chapter.

They can be dropped at Red Cross Bhavan, No 26, 1st floor, Race Course Road.
For further information, the Red Cross can be contacted on 080 - 2226 4205 / 98866 09215 / 98863 65096. e-mail ids: irccskar@vsnl.net/ircskar@gmail.com

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