Psychological Services



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7.1 Community Workers

Community groups may be established prior to disasters, or may emerge during disasters. As one of the principles of helping disaster communities is to help them to help themselves, it is an important priority that community self- help groups are identified, assessed for their capacities to function,
empowered to function as far as possible and helped to function if their capacities are compromised.
Preimpact
Assessment
. Formal and informal leaders and groups should be identified,
communication channels opened between them and psychological service providers and their capacities to deal with disasters assessed.
Interventions
include education, training and exercises which help to prepare for future disasters. Community and outside psychological services groups may be used as two way conduits of information and as a disaster approaches, for warning and preparation of the threatened community.
Networks between community groups and other groups are facilitated and prospective roles apportioned.
Impact
Community workers are helped in whatever way possible to survive and preserve life and property. Prearranged lines of communication may facilitate outside agencies to assess the nature and extent of community destruction and needs. Preparations for postimpact intervention should be instituted at all hierarchical levels.




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