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"Healing Invisible Wounds: Mental Health in Disaster Zones"

Updated: May 11


Mental health and psychosocial support activity for children and mothers in Landslide and Flood Emergency Response in Lebak-Banten-Indonesia by KUN Humanity System +

Introduction:

In the aftermath of a disaster, the focus is often on physical recovery—rebuilding homes, restoring services, and providing medical care. However, the invisible wounds—those inflicted on the mental health of survivors—are just as critical but often go unaddressed. At KUN Humanity System+, we understand that healing these wounds is essential for true recovery. This post explores our Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) programs in disaster-stricken regions like West Sulawesi and during the Cianjur Earthquake.


The Silent Aftermath:

Disasters do more than destroy infrastructure; they shatter lives and leave emotional scars that can hinder recovery if not properly cared for. KUN Humanity System+'s MHPSS programs are designed to address the psychological aftermath, providing a beacon of hope and support in the darkest of times.


Case Studies Highlighting KUN’s Impact:

1. West Sulawesi Earthquake Response:

  • Context: Following the devastating earthquake in January 2021, many survivors were left in shock, suffering from anxiety, sleeplessness, and trauma.

  • Action Taken: KUN deployed specialized teams to set up safe spaces for trauma counseling, conduct psychological first aid, and organize community support groups.

  • Impact: These interventions helped hundreds of survivors begin the process of psychological recovery, enabling them to participate actively in rebuilding their lives and communities.

2. Cianjur Earthquake Initiative:

  • Context: The Cianjur Earthquake left many children and adults in acute distress, disrupting their daily lives and sense of security.

  • Action Taken: Recognizing the profound impact on children, KUN established Child-Friendly Spaces offering therapeutic activities designed to help children process their experiences.

  • Impact: Over 150 children received regular psychosocial support, helping them regain a sense of normalcy and reducing symptoms of post-traumatic stress.

Challenges and Strategies:

  • Overcoming Stigma: Mental health still carries a stigma in many communities. KUN addresses this through community engagement and education, ensuring that mental health care is seen as just as important as physical health care.

  • Training and Capacity Building: To sustain efforts, KUN trains local health workers and volunteers in psychological first aid and trauma support, building local capacity to manage mental health needs independently.

Looking Ahead:

While immediate psychosocial support is vital, long-term mental health care remains a priority. KUN is committed to integrating mental health services into broader health care initiatives, ensuring that communities have ongoing access to the support they need to fully recover.

Conclusion:

Recovering from a disaster is a complex process that involves more than just rebuilding structures; it requires rebuilding lives. Mental health support is crucial in this process, helping individuals heal from the inside out. KUN Humanity System+'s commitment to mental health in disaster zones is unwavering, as we continue to support communities in not just surviving, but thriving after a disaster.

Call to Action:

Join us in supporting mental health initiatives in disaster-affected regions. Your contributions can transform lives by providing essential mental health support to those who need it most. Donate today, or volunteer to help us spread hope and healing.

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