As disasters impact not only affect physical and socio-economic components but also transcends the mental and emotional spheres of the survivors who have lost their near and dear ones, various departments were given training for psychological care in disasters.

The Shimla Municipal Corporation (SMC) as a collaborative work of USAID, Union government and UNDP under the project ‘Enhancing Institutional and Community Resilience to Disasters and Climate Change’ has organised departmental trainings.

The course has been framed by National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS) Bangalore and training has been given by the Master trainers in psychosocial care prepared by the HP State Disaster Management Authority.

The workshop was held in the HP university Department of Evening Studies from 22 November to 2 December.

“Disasters impact not only physical and socio-economic components but also transcends the mental and emotional spheres of the survivors who have lost their near and dear ones and have had damage of assets. The psychosocial or emotional problems are neglected in the society and are also invisible compared to other damages,” a government official said.

The official said loss and distress can lead to helplessness, isolation and apathy. Thus, psychosocial care is one of the important areas for addressing agony and distress of disaster-affected people.

Early intervention can help distressed persons to cope with mental suffering, he added. The one-day training programme is to provide awareness and intervention to affected people holistically through conventional modus operandi.

It provides basic understanding of disasters and psychological care, working with women, children and special care children, stress and self -care management both for survivors and caregivers.

The eight-day long training programme on psychosocial care in disasters was conducted for personnel’s of various departments of ITBP, SSB, Police, Home Guards, Anganwadi workers, teachers and students, NGO’s and field workers of Health department of SMC.