The WPA is concerned with the long term strategy of assisting in alleviating mental health sequale of disasters , currently the Tsunami disaster. The WPA is not a fund raising association but it can deliver the required technology to those afflicted by the disaster.
The first meeting of the Steering Committee of the WPA Tsunami program
was held in Cairo on the 12th February 2005. It was also attended by
the EC of WPA and Profs. Harry Minas and D' Souza as well as the chair
person of the Task force Prof. Deva zonal representative of the region.
After presenting and reviewing the actual situation and needs in the
region and how the WPA in collaboration with WHO can proceed to
implement the assistance for the training programs, several proposals
for action were discussed. The WPA set up a world wide network of
psychiatrists with expertise and commitment to psychosocial disaster
relief and who can be contacted to activate relief services in their
own and nearby needy countries, according to language and cultural
requirements through the WPA sections on emergency and disasters. The
WPA agrees on a policy to have a response to disasters that can
function at short notice, effectively. The WPA disaster fund was
initiated and is already receiving support from individuals and
organizations J.P. Morgan Chase Bank Routing # 021 000 021 Account
number 426-5000545-65 World Psychiatric Association Disaster Fund.
The WPA Disaster committee reviewed and agreed on the training manuals list for use in disaster areas and are endeavoring to translate them into major languages for use in training.
It was decided that an immediate sum of US $ 10,000 will be made available to each of the following WPA member societies : 1. Indonesian Psychiatric Association , 2. Sri Lankan College of Psychiatrists , for conducting training of trainers and other health care workers in primary care psychiatry and the management of psychiatric and mental health problems of the survivors of the Tsunami disaster for the next year.
This sum will be distributed and managed by the disaster committee of the WPA in coordination with the representative of the WPA Zone XVI (for South Asia) . Further funds are being assigned to long term programs after the first year , to finalize the translation of the multimedia disaster program prepared by the chairperson of the WPA section on disaster Prof. Moty Benyaker , and for the evaluation and implementation of the programs with a special focus on child mental health. Prof. Deva invited the 2 member societies mentioned to submit a plan for training of trainers including number of training courses, approximate dates of-courses , number of days of each course , number of participants to be trained in a year , categories of participants ( e.g. nurses, health workers, doctors, teachers) , place of training, town province, principal trainers, their backgrounds, local and foreign principal training materials used (name of book or guidelines, authors, modified as needed) , breakdown of proposed expenditure on training (e.g. transport, material, food. accommodation) etc ….
This process should start very soon hoping that the WPA can implement its objectives of promoting mental health in the afflicted region taking the cultural , religions and social values into consideration especially after the feedback and reports received from the afflicted persons showing an extraordinary resilience in coping with the tragedy through their religious and spiritual beliefs.