Srinagar, Nov 01: With alarming levels of stress among people due to ongoing unrest in Kashmir, Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) today called for psychological first aid that would prevent mental health crisis in the valley.
Terming it an important first-line support for people affected by crisis, President DAK Dr Nisar ul Hassan in a statement said psychological first aid (PFA) would help people to get over the effects of stress.
Untreated stress in Kashmir is like a bomb waiting to explode.
It has the potential to culminate into a mental health crisis.
PFA is the immediate rescue to distressed individuals and it would prevent the situation from becoming explosive.
WHO reports that PFA can provide a mental health life-line to people affected by crisis.
Created in Australia in 2000, PFA is a process of facilitating resilience within individuals, families and communities.
It is a method of enhancing person’s own natural coping abilities to deal with stress.
Importantly, it will take mental health out of shadows and remove the taboo surrounding mental health conditions.
This technique is as important as physical first aid and is typically offered by someone in the person’s societal network such as a family, friend or a colleague.
PFA was this year’s theme for world health mental day to emphasize its importance in stressful events.
Everyone needs to be trained for this tool.
It is like cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and is potentially a life saving skill that we all need to have.
While it has become standard of care in many countries, it is yet to take off in Kashmir where it is needed most.
With 1.8 million adults having mental distress in Kashmir and the current situation compounding the scenario, there is a crisis looming.
Dr Riyaz Ahmad Daga