Following the devastating floods which wreaked havoc in Kerala, the state’s health department has taken efforts to help those who are battling post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). State Health Minister KK Shailaja said that 1.85 lakh people had been helped through these measures and that 1,525 people had received psychiatric treatment.
Training has been given to 16,671 persons, including a number of ASHA workers, to provide disaster-related stress relief. Over 300 training programmes were held in 10 districts to arm those involved in relief efforts with providing proper care, to those who may be struggling with PTSD.
The trained individuals have visited over one lakh homes and a total of 661 relief camps, to counsel those who may need help. Follow-up is being conducted by 21 teams across 10 districts in the state.
PTSD is a mental health condition brought on by experiencing or witnessing an extremely traumatising event. People experiencing this condition can have nightmares, anxiety and intense flashback episodes. It can be seen weeks after the traumatic event has occurred. The right combination of therapy, and sometimes medication, can have dramatic changes in a person who is experiencing PTSD.
Counsellors trained at Bengaluru’s National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) were sought through the state’s health department, who also organised house and camp visits to ensure that people were treated accordingly.