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India issues guidelines to handle mental health after disasters


New Delhi : India Wednesday issued guidelines to manage the psycho-social problems that people face during and after disasters.

“These guidelines will help the country better to handle such medical cases which are generally neglected during disasters. The increased manpower and coordination between government and private players are some of the key suggestions,” said Lt. Gen J.R. Bharadwaj, member of the National Disaster Management Authority.

“The guidelines will also go to the district administration who need to gear up to face such problems,” he added.

Bharadwaj said nearly 80 percent of survivors of disaster face psycho-social problems for a month at least.

“The problem lingers for nearly six months in 30 percent of such cases and here these guidelines will help the administration to deal with the situation,” said Nimesh G. Desai, co-author of the guidelines.

“Children and women are the worst sufferers of these problems and we have suggested central and state governments to take due note of this vulnerable group,” Desai, who is the medical superintendent of the Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences in New Delhi.