This blog is dedicated to integrate psychosocial support before, during and after a disaster into the Project Cycle. Theoretical view points from the literatue in psychiatry, psychology, sociology, environment, spirituality and anthropology will be introduced. Case studies will be shared from the authors experience in the Americas and South Asia.
ENHANCING PSYCHOLOGICAL PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE THROUGH
Joseph O. Prewitt Diaz, PhD
August 20, 2004
This is a request for funds to continue the current
disaster mental health and psychosocial care program in target schools and
communities in two States and to support in Bihar and Tamil Nadu. The proposed
program will be called “Psychological Support Program” and will focus on the
long term development of the psychological support program in selected
Branches. The Psychological Support Programwill (1) enhance the capacity of the IRCS to provide
psychological information and to deliver timely interventions, (2) enhance the
capacity of target communities to provide psychological support information and
creative and expressive activities to release the distress, and (3) enhance the
capacity of target schools to generate crisis response plans that will
guidetheresponse to a crisis, emergency or a
Background to current project proposal
International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) approved a
Psychological Support Policy in May 2003.The policy mandates six “should” activities for the National societies.
(1) Integration of psychological support into existing programs (disaster preparedness,
disaster response, first aid, health, social services, and youth), (2)
Developing psychological support as a community based program, (3) Coordination
with existing GO’s and NGO’s who are providing psychological support programs,
(4) Plan to develop implementation of psychological support in conjunction with
other programs during the acute, (5) rehabilitation, and (6) reconstruction
phase of a disaster.
after the Gujarat earthquake the ARC in conjunction with IFRC determined the
need for psychological support in terms of disaster mental health. The program
has continued to evolve since 2001. The disaster mental health and psychosocial
care program has been integrated into the disaster response repertoire of the
OSB, and is a major part of the current services provided by the Bhuj-Kutch
district Branch in Bhuj, Anjar, and Bhachau.The program experienced success in school and target
communities, specifically related to crisis response planning in the schools
and training of thousands who have become Red Cross volunteers and are building
the Branch capacity with thousands of hours of volunteer time.
support has been embraced by The Indian Red Cross in the recent Strategic
Development Plan (2004). The specific actions are (1) better access to Disaster Mental
Health educational material during 2004-2007 (Action 2.1), (2) development and
distribution of information material on Disaster Mental Health for distribution
during disasters by 2004 (Action 2.3), (3) psychological first aid is
considered one of the Health program of the IRCS (Page 6, Indian Red Cross
Strategic Development Plan), and (4) the development of emergency health care
pan to include disaster mental health Action 3.3).
of IRCS is congruent with the Psychological Support Policy approved by the
IFRC. The ARC is capable of providing TA in the (1) development of technically,
culturally and linguistically appropriate materials, (2) dissemination of
information in target schools and communalities, and (3) capacity building at
all levels.The program will be
community-based, clients focused, will use existing IRCS structures, such as
the Youth and Junior Red Cross as a conduit of information and development of
crisis plans in schools, and will focus on peoples rights to physical and
emotional well being.
Need for project
The IRCS has identified three needs
in the development and responding of programs: (1) identification of systems to
deliver services to survivors in the event of a disaster, (2) building the
capacity of State and local chapters by using existing volunteers to provide
psychological support and (3) funding for specific community and school based
programs.The IRCS would
benefit from (1) the material development expertise, (2) networking with
communities, (3) the development of community psychological support committees,
and (4) the capacity building activities in psychological support activities
with teachers and student members of the Youth and Junior Red Cross.
will use materials that have been developed as part of the existing Disaster
Mental Health and Psychosocial Care program for schools and communities as well
as technical assistance personnel to provide training to crisis intervention
professionals and specialists. The role of the ARC is to provide technical
assistance in the formulation, development, implementation and long term
continued training in the preparation of educational materials for school that
focus on psychological support. See attachment 1 for a Table of Program
The goal and objectives for the program are as follow:
Goal:Enhance psychological preparedness and
response capacity at the school and community level in four states in India
Objective 1: Enhance staff
capacity (National, State, and Local Branch) of IRCS in implementing
psychological support programs
Objective 2: Expand target
school capacity to provide psychological support responses to students,
teachers and volunteers through the Junior and Youth Red Cross
target community capacity to provide psychological support responses to
community members and to students in local school through the community
psychological support committees.
Objective 4:Document the process of development of IRCS capacity for psychological
responses in schools to crisis, emergency and disasters to draw lessons for
Measurement, reporting, general
The M & E
will include measurement prior to beginning and at the conclusion of the
program. Records of participation in activities, identification of specific
skills development, through simulations, and testimonials will be recorded.
Photographic data will be collected to document the program and a final
evaluation should be performed to yield lessons learned. Special attention will
be placed on the capacity building activities for development of tools that may
be used by other Branches.
The program will continue in Gujarat and Orissa
with major modifications. The program will be start-up in Tamil Nadu and Bihar.
In Gujarat the program will continue in communities and schools in Bhuj, Anjar
and Bachau (Bhuj-Kutch Branch will serve as lead Branch). The GSB will be
responsible for developing the psychological support program through the Junior
and Youth Red Cross in Navsari, Surat, and Valsad. In Orissa the State Branch
will initiate a program through the Junior and Youth Red Cross in selected
schools and communities in Bhadrak, Jagatsingpur, Kendrapara, Khurda, and Puri.
In Bihar the State Branch will receive technical assistance in the development
of programs at the State Headquarter and one selected branch. In Tamil Nadu,
there will be a psychological supportprogram in Kutakonam, and technical assistance support to the Tamil Nadu
Population to be served
The number of persons to be
served will be approximately 250,000 per year per side or a total of one
million. The predominant service recipients will be (1) Red Cross staff and
volunteers,(2) students and there
parents, teachers and school volunteers, and (3) community members.
The IRCS was established in 1920 under the Indian Red Cross Society act
and was recognized by the Movement in 1929. The IRCS has provincial branches in
all states and union territories and more than 650 district and sub district
branches.The president of India
is the president of the IRCS. The main governing body is the national managing
body, which consists of 18 members, 12 of whom are elected by the state and
union territory branches. The president of IRCS nominates the remaining six
members, including the chairman.
The IRCS has developed a cadre of personnel at the
Orissa State Branch and the Bhuj-Kutch District Branch who are currently
delivering the program to selected communities and schools. In Orissa the State
Branch has a full staff composed of a DMH Officer and twelve staff members
working in the four target Districts. The Bhuj-Kutch Branch has 12 employees
working in thirty five villages and forty schools in Anjar and Bhuj.The Gujarat State Branch has sponsored
community facilitators training programs in Banas Kantar, Patan, Navsari,
Surat, Valsad, and Vadodara.
There is a need to increase the capacity of the NHQ
by hiring and supporting a National counterpart. Each State will require a DMH
Officer to follow-up the program in school and the target communities. A
definitive staffing pattern appropriate to each site will be developed after
the Program is approved.
The program will require
an international delegate with the experience in disaster management, materials
development, and psychological support activities. The TA staff will be
composed of two instructional personnel,Monitoring and Evaluation Associate, financial Officer and an
administrator. Four TA coordinators will be hired as part of the ARC TA staff.
IRCS is responsible for the implementation of the Program. The personnel
resources will be determined in consultation with each Branch as the program is
Attachment 2 presents a roughed out estimate by State and
type of intervention.It is
assumed that once that once all parties approve the proposal, the monies will
be dispersed from Washington to the respective State and Local Branches. In
turn the State and local Branches will submit cash forecasts access continued
Sustainability beyond project scope
be developed in local Branches to develop the program, the trained Red Cross
volunteer will be the greatest source of sustainability for the program. All
materials are copyrighted to the IRCS therefore the revenue obtained from the
sale of the materials will make the program sustainable. The third source of
sustainability is the methods and procedures that will remain in place once ARC
no longer provides technical assistance.
will assure community and school ownership by conducting participatory planning
sessions, focused groups to provide direction to the program and by conducting
simulations testing protocols and procedures for psychological support response
during a crisis, emergency, or a disaster.