The psychological impact of emergencies and traumatic events on human functioning has been a subject of study for many years, especially since disasters have formed a complex global problem.
Year after year, communities and individuals are affected by disasters, which not only disrupts the economic and social development but mental health and well-being of the people as well.
Better preparedness, community empowerment and implementation of post-disaster intervention techniques can greatly help in improving the condition of the vulnerable population affected by the calamity.
You too can play an important role in protecting your community from harm during an emergency by studying emergency management online in order to gain knowledge and practical skills to effectively respond to and manage emergencies.
A good school can offer you a Bachelor’s degree online in the Emergency Management field or a Bachelor of Science in Emergency Management, both of which can teach ethical and theory-based practices in emergency management.
These degrees will equip you with the right tools to assess risks,develop response plans and mitigate the pre and after-effects of disasters and emergencies on the local as well as the global scale.
Developing countries have many weak and susceptible regions that are more exposed to threat than others. In fact, many places do not have even the basic resources to ensure minimum loss and efficient recovery in case a calamity strikes. Hence this discipline has very high scope.
Psychological impact of emergencies
To Understand the psychological impact in a crisis situation we first must try understanding the adverse outcomes of a disaster or emergency which may include:
- Impact on stress and mental health which may lead to mental issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, sleeping disorders,disrupted concentration or resorting to maladaptive practices like substance abuse
- Deterioration of family ties as a result of mental illness or separation from the family because of hospitalization, death, violence or evacuations.
- Lack of social and cultural support arising from destruction of community rallying points or significant heritage and cultural sites
- Effects may prop up even years after the original emergency occurred and can persist over the long term
- Social and psychological reactions may depend on culture, background to the disaster, degree of development of the country,severity of the emergency, timing and most importantly availability of internal resources such as humanitarian aid.
- The psychological impact also depends on the type of emergency. A natural disaster, for example,is conceived coming from an impersonal destructive force which is seen as divine intervention. This can motivate the population to start afresh
- On the other hand,a man made disaster like terrorism or war may confront people to loot and kill, thereby causing more endemic terror, suspicion, guilt and depression.
In order to help those on the ground better understand the issues encountered during an emergency, it is important to have a more in-depth understanding of the psychological dimension of the population affected by the crisis.This approach greatly helps the workers in remobilising resources for the affected people.