Srinagar: The World Health Organisation (WHO) has advocated the use of techniques adopted by NGO’s involved in imparting Psychological First Aid in conflict ridden Kashmir as role model for the world.
This report was submitted to J&K Govt and WHO and was presented by Dr Sayed Aqeel Hussain, Consultant Psychiatrist and International Coordinator for mhGAP, at the WHO assembly in Geneva on world Mental Health Day with Psychological First Aid being its theme for this year.
The WHO in its report on world mental health day advocated the use of the Kashmir report for conduction of PFA training across the world.
Following a request by Centre for Mental Health Kashmir, a unit of HELP foundation, Dr Sayed Aqeel Hussain had come all the way from UK to provide the Psychological First Aid training using the WHO formulated training module in collaboration with WHO and Royal College of Psychiatrists London. This was part of an MOU signed between J&K Health and Medical Education Department and Royal College of Psychiatrists London to help with the mental health problems in Kashmir. The training also received support from Directorate of Health services Kashmir.
Various local and international NGOs had joined hands to impart training to volunteers to help people in Kashmir deal with the aftermath of psychological trauma.
More than 40 participants attended the workshop and they included members of several local and international NGOs like MSF and Red Cross.
The workshop was successfully conducted with participants sharing their experiences and recommendations which helped in the formulation of the first report of Psychological First Aid training.
Dr Hussain also presented the report at the International Humanitarian Congress in Berlin co-hosted by MSF Germany and Red Cross `Germany along with the findings of the recent survey done by MSF in Kashmir.
Jemilah Mahmood under Secretary for Partnerships ,International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies appreciated the initiative of starting PFA training in Kashmir to help people deal with the aftermath of psychological trauma.
Having attended the PFA training MSF and Red Cross in their reports strongly advocated PFA as the need of the hour in Kashmir to deal with the immediate aftermath of trauma suffered by the people of Kashmir.
In view of the current political turmoil around the world Psychological First Aid was chosen as the theme on this years world mental health day.
Impact of war in the context of current global armed conflicts and related human rights violations cannot be reduced to psychological trauma even if this is familiar and comfortable for western trained psychological therapists, said Dr Hussain.
Everything which happens in war cannot be understood solely within a framework which focuses on psychological symptoms located within the individual, he said, adding the context is ignored and the causes of symptoms are obscured or reduced to single traumatic events rather than recognizing the reality of multiple and ongoing trauma which are never post.
The absence of legal accountability for crimes of war and the absence of humanitarian aid also have an influence on mental health.
The need for justice, recognition, community and social networks as well as the need for a long term re-affiliation/transformation into building a livelihood must never be ignored, he stressed.
The Psychological First Aid workshop which was conducted as part of MOU between Royal College of Psychiatrists London and Health and Medical Education Department of Jammu and Kashmir was presented at the International Congress in London and was appreciated and endorsed by the President of the Royal College of Psychiatrist London Professor Wendy Burn as well as Professor Kamaldeep Bhui Professor of Social Psychiatry and Editor in Chief of British Journal of Psychiatry the most renowned Psychiatric Journal in the world…..It is worth mentioning that Dr Sayed Aqeel Hussain was recently awarded Fellowship of the Royal College of Psychiatrist (FRCPsych) the most prestigious Psychiatric award in the world for his contribution to field of psychiatry both in UK and Kashmir. The college also appreciated support of Dr Mohammad Muzaffar Khan Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Mr Wasim Kakroo clinical psychologist who supported the conduction of Psychological first Aid workshop…
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