ERIC Number: ED281100
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1986-Sep
Primary Mental Health Care in Disasters: Armero, Colombia.
Lima, Bruno R.
This paper focuses on the mental health consequences of the disaster in Armero, Colombia which resulted from a volcanic eruption and mudslide, and highlights the role of the primary care worker in delivering mental health care to disaster victims. Eight characteristics of disasters that are closely related to their psychopathogenetic potential (Quarantelli, 1985) are reviewed as they apply to the Armero disaster: (1) proportion of the involved population; (2) social centrality of the affected population; (3) length of involvement of the affected population in the crisis; (4) rapidity of involvement of the affected population in crisis; (5) predictability of involvement in a crisis; (6) unfamiliarity of the crisis; (7) depth of involvement of the population in the disaster; and (8) the recurrency of involvement. The report suggests that the basic mental health activities of the primary care worker must be adapted to specific disaster situations and skills should include knowledge of disaster behavior, skills in the use of different treatment modalities, understanding of the disaster aid system, and ability to utilize available family and community resources. The paper concludes that adequate and comprehensive implementation and evaluation of disaster relief programs should go beyond survival rates and physical morbidity and should focus on the emotional and behavioral aspects of victims' adjustment, where the primary care worker can make a significant contribution. (NB)
Publication Type: Reports - General; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Colombia