The Asia Pacific Disaster Mental Health Network: Setting a Mental Health Agenda for the Region
AuthorNewnham, EA; Dzidic, PL; Mergelsberg, ELP; Guragain, B; Chan, EYY; Kim, Y; Leaning, J; Kayano, R; Wright, M; Kaththiriarachchi, L; ...
Source TitleInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
University of Melbourne Author/sGibbs, Lisa
AffiliationMelbourne School of Population and Global Health
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsNewnham, E. A., Dzidic, P. L., Mergelsberg, E. L. P., Guragain, B., Chan, E. Y. Y., Kim, Y., Leaning, J., Kayano, R., Wright, M., Kaththiriarachchi, L., Kato, H., Osawa, T. & Gibbs, L. (2020). The Asia Pacific Disaster Mental Health Network: Setting a Mental Health Agenda for the Region. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH AND PUBLIC HEALTH, 17 (17), https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176144.
Access StatusOpen Access
Addressing the psychological mechanisms and structural inequalities that underpin mental health issues is critical to recovery following disasters and pandemics. The Asia Pacific Disaster Mental Health Network was established in June 2020 in response to the current disaster climate and to foster advancements in disaster-oriented mental health research, practice and policy across the region. Supported by the World Health Organization (WHO) Thematic Platform for Health Emergency and Disaster Risk Management (Health EDRM), the network brings together leading disaster psychiatry, psychology and public health experts. Our aim is to advance policy, research and targeted translation of the evidence so that communities are better informed in preparation and response to disasters, pandemics and mass trauma. The first meetings of the network resulted in the development of a regional disaster mental health agenda focused on the current context, with five priority areas: (1) Strengthening community engagement and the integration of diverse perspectives in planning, implementing and evaluating mental health and psychosocial response in disasters; (2) Supporting and assessing the capacity of mental health systems to respond to disasters; (3) Optimising emerging technologies in mental healthcare; (4) Understanding and responding appropriately to addressing the mental health impacts of climate change; (5) Prioritising mental health and psychosocial support for high-risk groups. Consideration of these priority areas in future research, practice and policy will support nuanced and effective psychosocial initiatives for disaster-affected populations within the Asia Pacific region.
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