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Year : 2010  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 148-157

Basic versus focused psychosocial interventions for community wellbeing: lessons following the Nargis cyclone interventions in Burma/Myanmar

Regional Emergency Manager for Central and South East Asia and Middle East in the Humanitarian Division in Christian Aid, London. He has completed his PhD in development and public health. He has managed partner led humanitarian and disaster risk reduction programmes in more than 16 countries in Asia and Africa

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Psychosocial interventions in Burma/Myanmar are a new phenomenon. Following the Nargis cyclone in Burma/Myanmar, assessments highlighted a clear need to address the psychosocial issues in local communities. Within the existing socio-political constraints, nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) tried to address these issues in different ways. National NGOs tried to help communities by organising community based psychosocial support programmes. This paper describes and analyses two models of psychosocial interventions. One project was purely focused on community and group interventions, while the other project had also targeted interventions for individuals and groups within a multi-layered approach. These psychosocial projects are not just an end in themselves, but form the basis for further development programmes and coordination with other actors on the ground. It is important that public health providers are involved in the service delivery process from the beginning.

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