Cyclone Fani aftermath: Naveen Patnaik govt conducts drives to address mental health condition of affected families

Odisha: As part of the ongoing post-cyclone relief and restoration measures, the Odisha government is addressing the mental health condition of those affected by Cyclone Fani, which had battered the state on 3 May. People have been badly affected by the destruction of their property, loss of livestock and casualties in the aftermath of the cyclone.

Last week, on the directions of the Department of Health and Family Welfare, two teams of doctors led by the Director of Mental Health Institute (MHI), Sarada Prasanna, visited various places in the state to identify the areas in dire need of mental health intervention.

 Cyclone Fani aftermath: Naveen Patnaik govt conducts drives to address mental health condition of affected families

The aftermath of Cyclone Fani in Odisha. Manish Kumar/101Reporters

The teams consisting of psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, and psychiatric social workers visited Konark, Gop, Puri Sadar, Kanas, Bramhagiri and Satapada areas of the state, following which they discussed the matter in detail with the Chief District Medical Officer (CDMO) of the respective places.  MHI will prepare a plan of intervention in accordance with the level of psychological trauma the cyclone has caused to the people in different areas of the state.

Professionals also found out that a lot of people in the affected areas whose houses have been destroyed are suffering from Adjustment Disorder (AD), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Acute Stress Disorder (ASD). Psychosocial support by the mental health professionals will address the issues of emotional trauma, rebuild human capacities, restore social cohesion and prevent adverse psychological and social consequences among the disaster-affected communities. Children, pregnant mothers, geriatric population and people suffering from mental illnesses have been affected severely.

The team observed that people who are severely affected are desperately seeking relief. It, however, pressed that restoration of mental health issues will only resolve after the restoration of their houses and maintenance of routine daily work. Over one crore sixty-five lakh people of the state have been adversely affected due to the cyclone.

The death toll in the state due to cyclone Fani touched 64 with Puri recording the maximum number of casualties at 39, according to official estimates released by the state government on 11 May. According to government data, livestock casualties are over 34 lakh.

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Updated Date: May 20, 2019 09:03:16 IST