INTERVENTIONS The purpose of psychological service interventions in disaster affected populations is to enable affected people to maintain and retrieve their biological, psychological and social selves and to emerge with existentially meaningful lives. Dealing as providers do in disasters with fresh wounds, gives opportunities to preempt serious pathology and excessive scarring. Further, even if pathology develops, its recent onset and relatively clear causation may lend themselves to efficacious healing. While psychological services are provided in a manner which empowers individuals and communities in the management of their own recovery, effective service delivery is also reliant upon recognition and understanding of the impacts of disaster on adults, children, families and communities in their various social and cultural contexts. Expert advice and consultancy are provided throughout all aspects of the disaster recovery process. This ensures that services are delivered in a psychologically informed manner to facilitate and enhance overall community recovery. Expert advice and consultancy need to be provided at all hierarchical levels, including to emergency managers, particularly recovery managers. Types of interventions thus range from psychological first aid and support, to long term clinical treatment. The means of delivery of such interventions should be preplanned to be delivered through a seamless, holistic service.
The following sections will consider some general principles regarding intervention, ingredients common to different types of interventions and then overviews of some particular treatment interventions. Subsequent sections will elaborate their applications to different disaster phases for different sections of the population, in accordance with the schema used for assessments.