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Psychosocial Adversity and Mental Health:Theme lecture @ANCIPS2013

From the theme session @ANCIPS2013 –Psycosocial Adversity and Mental health. The speakers were

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1.P Sainath who is a journalist and rural affairs editor at The Hindu and visiting professor at University of California.One of the few Indians to win the the Ramon Magsaysay award in the category of journalism and literature. Sainath speaks mainly on agrarian distress, financial inequity and misguided fiscal policies (man-made “policy driven disaster”) as root cause of farmer suicide (“collapse of the farmer’s universe”).

2. R Srinivasamurthy who is retired Professor of Psychiatry (NIMHANS) talks about mental health impact of disasters by tracing through the Bhopal tragedy, Maratwada earthquake, Orissa tragedy, Gujarat earthquake, riots and Tsunami. RSM draws on literature which correlates economic inequity and mental distress/illness and says a public health approach via community and family based psychosocial interventions (facilitating community support) for distress responses/behaviors/illness is effective and can mitigate suffering from disaster.”..the implication is that we really have to think of mental health of the population rather than the patients who come to us -in terms of prevention, in terms of preparedness”. Interventions at national level to reduce economic inequality and interventions at international level to maintain peace.