Report of an International Disaster Mental Health Intervention
This paper presents the disaster mental health work done by Dr. Alan Krohn and two colleagues in Sri Lanka five months after the tsunami. How the mental health mission came about, how it was planned, and what was actually done will be presented. The ways psychoanalytic and general psychological concepts were used in training mental health workers and in direct interventions with victims will be explored. The challenges of defining the disaster victim population, of understanding the nature of the trauma, and of coming to understand our functions as disaster mental health workers will be described. The paper will also deal with working cross-culturally. The paper seeks to bring a psychoanalytic conceptual framework to the mental health intervention and, based on what we learned, to give some specific “how to” guidance on what to expect and how to work in local, national and international disaster mental health situations.
Alan Krohn, Ph.D.
Discussant: Monisha Nayar, Ph.D.
Graduate, Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute
Saturday, January 14, 2006
(Co-sponsored with the Crisis Response Committee)