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WPA Declarations - Tsunami Disaster - Report

 

REPORT
Prof. George Christodoulou
WPA Secretary for Sections
Chair, Institutional Program for Disasters and Mental Health


Action following the Tsunami Disaster

On the very day that the news concerning the Tsunami reached the world I communicated with:
  • Our Section on Disaster Psychiatry requesting readiness to respond to the needs of the colleagues from the affected areas
  • The co-chair of the Institutional Program Dr Lopez-Ibor requesting feed-back
  • The Psychiatric Societies of the affected area by e-mail and telephone, asking about their needs and informing them of the availability of the Program and the Section for help.
I had a prompt response for collaboration from all the above. One of the main requests of the Societies of the affected area was the provision of informative material for professionals on how to manage the behavioral effects of the disaster and for the general public. The Section on Disasters was informed on this and was asked to prepare the material. The Section requested some assistance for translation. This request was conveyed to the WPA President who responded positively.

Subsequent collaborations and initiatives
  • Collaboration with the WPA President and the WPA Secretary-General in the preparation of a Communication to the WPA Member Societies concerning the Disaster
  • Regular communication and collaboration with the Section on Disaster Psychiatry and with the Societies of the affected area
  • Participation in meetings concerning the behavioral effects of the Tsunami in Chandigarh, India in January 2005 with the psychiatric societies of the SAARC Federation of SE Asia and regional representative Dr Deva
  • Collaboration with the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the provision of help to the affected areas
Future Initiatives
  • Utilization of the WPA Athens Intersectional Congress as a Forum for the discussion of the behavioral effects of the Tsunami Disaster and their management (incorporation in the Scientific Program of a Special Forum to be coordinated by Prof. Okasha, Prof. Deva and myself with the participation of presidents of member societies from SE Asia)
  • Stimulation of the WPA Sections to contribute by
    • Correspondence in coordination with the Section on Disaster Psychiatry
    • Organization of a Special Inter-sectional Forum on the behavioral affects of the Tsunami in Athens, 12-15 March 2005
    • Mobilization of the Section on Emergency Psychiatry (in line with a recommendation of the WPA President)
  • Organization of a special Forum on Disaster Psychiatry in the framework of the 13th World Congress of Psychiatry (following invitation by Professors Okasha and Mezzich).

 

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