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WPA Extends Support to Those Affected by Recent Earthquake in Taiwan


In the wake of Taiwan’s biggest earthquake in 25 years, the World Psychiatric Association (WPA) extends its heartfelt support to those affected by this tragedy. With many thousands stranded, injured, or worse, the aftermath of the earthquake presents immense challenges, not only to physical recovery but also to mental health and psychosocial well-being.


Following any natural disasters, the risk of mental health issues rises significantly. Experiencing trauma, coupled with disruptions to social support networks and basic amenities, can lead to surges in anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Recognising the urgent need for mental health support in the affected regions, the WPA is committed to working closely with local mental health organisations in Taiwan. Such collaborative efforts are crucial not only for immediate relief but also for fostering the long-term resilience and recovery of healthcare within the affected communities.


While the effects of this earthquake are tragic, it is essential to acknowledge the proactive measures Taiwan has taken to mitigate the risks of a much worse outcome. Since 1999, when 2000 people lost their lives in the 7.3 magnitude Chi-Chi earthquake, authorities have undertaken several measures to enhance readiness, including the formation of urban search and rescue teams, the construction of infrastructure better equipped to withstand seismic activity, and the establishment of emergency medical operation centres. These initiatives underscore Taiwan's dedication to safety and resilience.


The WPA offers a range of resources through its disaster response programme, the Advisory Committee on Responses to Emergencies (ACRE). Developed in response to previous international disasters, these resources include educational modules, toolkits, and guidelines tailored to the unique challenges of disaster psychiatry. These include:


Author: WPA

*Picture credit: Hualien County Government, Attribution, via Wikimedia Commons

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