The Kyung Hee Medical Center research team has developed a "guideline for supporting Korean disaster mental health," based on the experiences of disaster sites and the world's major papers published over the last 15 years.
The guideline is expected to help alleviate the psychological impact of disaster-affected people in the event of damage, for example, like the one caused by the earthquake that hit the southeastern city of Pohang last Thursday. It is also likely to provide help for disaster victims struggling to recover from the mental shock, the hospital said.
|Professor Baek Jong-woo|
The research team included professors in various areas, such as psychiatry, preventive medicine, pediatric psychiatry, social welfare, nursing, and clinical psychology.
In the case of disasters overseas, the safety authorities are managing the mental health of victims, along with physical follow-up work such as rescue and recovery. In Korea, however, there have been few guidelines for mental health professionals to provide disaster support for victims.
The development of this guideline began with the recognition of the need for providing mental health services for victims since the sinking of ferry Sewol. The study was one of the tasks of the Korean Social Science Research Council한국사회과학협의회, which was supported by the Korea Mental Health Technology R&D Project.
The guideline includes contents preparing for the disaster, initial response after the accident (within one week), early response after the disaster (from one week to a month), one to three months after the disaster, and describing the disaster responses after three months.
"This study is a supportive guide for mental health professionals for disaster mental health services,” said Professor Baek Jong-woo백종우, the development manager of the research team. "We developed guidelines to share the essential mental health service framework and to provide a consistent and continuous service basis for the domestic situation by classifying the period after the disaster into emergency -- early, middle, and long-term.”
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