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February 2013
Psychiatric Rehabilitation

During the recently concluded WPA Regional Meeting held in Bali, Indonesia on September 13-15, 2012, the WPA Section on Psychiatric Rehabilitation organized a Symposium and also conducted a workshop.

The Workshop was conducted by Prof. Ignacio on “The Conduct of Psychosocial Processing - the core of direct psychological intervention for survivors of a disaster”. The participants included psychiatrists, nurses, social workers, and counselors from Thailand, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and the Philippines. They went through the process as “survivors” of the flood, tsunami earthquake that struck their respective countries. At the end of the three-hour workshop all agreed that the “processing” gave them a sense of calmness and the realization that as psychosocial program implementers they need to have this “processing” program as part of their organization disaster management program.

The Section Symposium: Recovery and Well-being in the Aftermath of Disasters” was chaired by Prof. L. Ignacio and had the following speakers:

- Prof. Lourdes L. Ignacio (Philippines) “The Human Person in Disaster: Promoting His Well-being”

- Dr. Albert Maramis (Indonesia) “The Impact of the Tsunami: 5 Years Hence”

- Dr. Tsuyoshi Akiyama (Japan) “The East Japan Disaster 3.11.2011”

- Dr. Afzal Javed (UK) and Dr Naseer Sayeed Khan (Pakistan) “Beyond the Kashmir Earthquake in Pakistan”

The Symposium served as the venue to present the long term perspective of the psychosocial rehabilitation program in the aftermath of disasters, giving concrete examples on how rehabilitation as part of mental health services could be integrated in the overall rehabilitation of a disaster affected areas.

Prof. Ignacio also presented a plenary lecture on “Disaster Mental Health Program as the Door to the Development of Community Mental Health Services”. This presentation highlighted the fact that the sensitivity gained from actual experiences in responding to the psychosocial reactions of survivors of disaster by community health and social workers and their subsequent training on mental health care in primary health care have led them to address the needs for treatment of those patients in the community especially the untreated chronic mentally ill patients. They have started to manage these patients, provide the necessary psychotropic medications and form a family support group to help these patients recover and be part not only of their families but their communities.

The WPA Section on Psychiatric Rehabilitation is chaired by Prof. Lourdes L Ignacio (Philippines), Dr. Tae-Yeon Hwang (Korea) is the Co-chair and the Secretary is Dr. Johannes Wancata from Austria. 

 Lourdes Ignacio

Chair, WPA Section on Psychiatric Rehabilitation

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