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Disaster Psychiatry

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Disasters have always been part of life, and therefore psychiatry is inherently relevant in their management, prevention and study. Disasters can be man-made (anthropogenic) or natural, but regardless of their aetiology, they are capable of adversely affecting the lives of large parts of the population. Similarly, however, they can herald opportunity and the development of resilience for those affected.


The WPA Section on Disasters has as its overarching goal to increase psychiatry's relevance in the management and prevention of disasters. More specifically, the Sections aims to:

  • increase psychiatry's importance in disasters

  • inform policy on the management and prevention of disasters

  • support networking and communication of psychiatrists with a special interest in disasters

  • support and conduct research on topics relevant to disaster psychiatry

  • disseminate evidence-based knowledge on disaster psychiatry

  • educate mental health professionals and other key professionals involved in disaster management

Section Officers


Dr José Toufic Thomé

Address: Psychodynamic Department of the Sedes Sapientiae Institute of Sao Paulo
Brazil Rua Sergipe 401 cj. 402 Sao Paulo Brazil
Phone: 55 11 32583462


Dr Irene Onik Benyakar

Address: Argentina


Dr. Nikos Christodoulou

Address: Institute of Mental Health
University of Nottingham
Nottingham NG7 2TU United Kingdom

>> Please click here to see the Section Members list.

Section News

Recommended Reading

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Disasters: Mental health context and responses

Christodoulou, G. N., Mezzich, J. E., Christodoulou, N. G., & Lecic-Tosevski, D. (2016).

Cambridge Scholars Publishing. Retrieved from

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