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Argument for emergency relief of disaster survivors - Essay Example

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Disasters not only wreck havoc on the normal life in the areas they strike, but also lead to much loss of life and causalities. The other sad thing about disasters is…
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Argument for emergency relief of disaster survivors
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Argument for emergency relief of disaster survivors

However, the primary mindset that has traditionally governed the relief efforts made by the relief agencies is to extend medical assistance and supply basic necessities like food, medicines, clothing, drinking water and shelter to the disaster survivors. It would not be wrong to say that hitherto the relief efforts made by the relief agencies tended to focus on the external needs of the disaster survivors. The relief agencies till very recent times totally ignored the mental distress and the resultant mental health issues faced by the disaster survivors. For example it was only in 1989 that the Red Cross recognized the need for extending mental health services to the survivors in the disaster hit areas. Many government agencies and the policy makers deployed in important relief agencies believe that the visible and material needs and requirements of the people in the disaster hit areas should take precedence over the less obvious aspects such as the mental trauma and distress faced by them. However, this approach towards disaster relief is utterly narrow and short sighted. Ignoring the mental health needs of the survivors in the disaster hit areas is indeed callous and in a way cruel. Disasters by their very nature happen to be instances that not only jeopardize the set way of life of the people in an area, but that also lead to the loss of the loved one’s and personal homes and possessions, acute physical injuries and physical trauma, and a total shattering of the social moral (McFarlane & Williams 1). Hence, a disaster is bound to cause much psychological and emotional distress to a significant proportion of the survivors in any impacted area. Hence, mental health services need to be an integral aspect of the relief extended to the survivors in the disaster hit areas so as to help the survivors cope up with the trauma and distress experienced by them, to ... Read More
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