Due to the last series of earthquakes that hit both Turkey and Syria, hundreds of thousands of survivors today suffer devastating physical and mental consequences.
In particular, many earthquake survivors from Syrian refugee camps are struggling with anxiety, fear, PTSD, and distress, to mention a few.
This article will shed light on some of the psychological effects of this disaster and the importance of psychosocial support programs to help them cope with their traumas.
Understanding the psychological impact of earthquakes
Victims of earthquakes can experience a devastating psychological impact that could last for long years.
Some of the many harmful psychological effects they are exposed to include grief, shock, confusion, fear, distress, PTSD, anxiety, and depression.
Some survivors may experience feelings of guilt that they survived and others did not.
The importance of psychosocial support
Psychosocial support is absolutely crucial for the overall recovery of earthquake survivors.
In order to cope with the consequences of their traumatic experience, psychosocial support is essential for survivors.
This is because such help provides them with a safe environment to express their emotions and thoughts to receive the help they need.
In addition, psychosocial support equips those victims with the necessary skills and abilities to overcome the long-term impact of the disaster.
Psychosocial support also includes paving the way for survivors to access physical and mental health services.
Creating safe spaces for emotional expression
Creating a safe space for earthquake survivors for emotional expression is essential for their mental and psychological recovery.
Emotional expression helps victims vent their negative feelings and traumatic experiences.
Emotional support groups enable earthquake survivors to share their stories and connect with others who have survived similar experiences in a safe space without judgment or criticism.
Furthermore, such support enables survivors to cope with feelings of distress and fear, which can lead to healing and resilience.
Psychological first aid
Psychological first aid for earthquake victims includes recovery mechanisms such as:
- Psychological counseling: This can help survivors cope with the traumatic feelings of their experience.
- Support groups: These groups offer emotional and practical assistance that provides a safe space for the victims to share their feelings and receive the necessary advice and resources to recover.
- Financial assistance: This type of assistance is key for earthquake victims to compensate for their houses and lost belongings.
- Community engagement: These efforts can assist the survivors by rebuilding a sense of normalcy in the aftermath of the earthquake. To do this, local organizations can help organize fundraisers, awareness campaigns, and clean-up efforts.
Trauma-informed care can help earthquake survivors overcome their physical, mental, and emotional needs.
Such treatment helps survivors better cope with the emotional and physical impacts of the disaster by understanding their reactions to the trauma to develop the necessary coping strategies.
Additionally, trauma-informed care helps survivors connect with support networks to develop resilience and the skills required to overcome their traumatic experiences.
Moreover, by explaining their feelings to care providers, they will help them provide tailored care schemes to address earthquake survivors’ needs.
Supporting vulnerable populations
Vulnerable victims of earthquakes include marginalized communities, such as children, women, the elderly, and people with disabilities.
There are multiple techniques whereby NGOs and international organizations can help earthquake-vulnerable victims. These include:
- Providing emergency relief, such as food, water, shelter, and medical supplies.
- Setting up mobile clinics in the affected areas to provide the victims with healthcare services.
- Providing financial assistance to those in need to help with repairs and rebuilding efforts.
- Providing the victims with mental and psychological help.
- Creating job opportunities for earthquake victims to help them financially.
Addressing mental health disorders
Addressing the mental health disorders of earthquake survivors is essential for their overall recovery. This can be achieved in a number of ways:
- Providing them with healthcare services, such as support groups, counseling, psychotherapy, and medication.
- Creating trauma-informed programs and activities to help them process their emotions and experiences.
- Promoting self-care practices to help them manage their stress and anxiety, such as meditation, physical exercises, and relaxation techniques.
- Designing peer support programs to create a safe space for them to share their feelings and thoughts.
Long-term psychosocial recovery
The long-term psychosocial recovery of earthquake survivors is essential to help them manage their traumas and rebuild their lives in the aftermath of the disaster.
Long-term psychosocial support helps victims reestablish a sense of safety and security and regain control over their lives.
This could be done through various activities and interventions, such as counseling, community engagement, and psychological services.
That is, such long-term psychosocial support activities help the victims process their experiences and move on with their lives.
At Bonyan Organization, we ensure to provide earthquake victims in refugee communities with all kinds of assistance that they need to rebuild their lives.
In particular, our efforts include designing psychosocial programs tailored to accommodate their mental health needs and helping them overcome their traumatic experiences.
We make sure to collect the necessary resources and invest them in special programs specifically tailored to cater to refugees’ specific needs.
Many earthquake survivors were left with crippling mental and psychological issues that prevent them from leading a healthy life.
Therefore, with your assistance and benevolent contributions, those victims can receive mental help, which is critical for their overall recovery.
Donate today to help the refugees affected by earthquakes restore their lives!
- UNESCO provides psychosocial support for earthquake survivors
- Evaluation of Psychosocial Support Programs Implemented After VAN-ERCİŞ Earthquake
How can psychosocial support help earthquake victims cope with the emotional impact of the disaster?
Psychosocial support can help earthquake victims cope with the emotional impact of the disaster by providing them with emotional support, mental health care services, and support groups.
Those efforts can also provide earthquake victims with a safe space to rebuild their lives and overcome their traumas.
What are the common psychosocial challenges faced by earthquake victims?
Common psychosocial challenges faced by earthquake victims include:
Fear and anxiety.
Grief and loss.
Post-traumatic disorders (PTSD).
What types of psychosocial support services are typically provided to earthquake victims?
The types of psychosocial support services that are typically provided to earthquake victims include
Mental health counseling.
Legal and financial help.
How can psychosocial support be integrated into disaster response and recovery efforts for earthquake-affected communities?
Psychosocial support could be integrated into earthquake-affected communities’ disaster response and recovery efforts by establishing psychosocial services and promoting self-help services to provide them with the skills needed to overcome their traumas.