Culture and the psychological impacts of natural disasters: Implications for disaster management and disaster mental health

J. Jogia, U. Kulatunga, G.P. Yates, G. Wedawatta

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issue

Abstract

In recent decades, natural disasters have caused extensive losses and damages to human psychological wellbeing, economy, and society. It has been argued that cultural factors such as social values, traditions, and attachment to a location influence communities facing and responding to natural disasters. However, the issue of culture in disaster mental health seems to have received limited attention in policy and practice. This review highlights the importance of cultural background in the assessment of vulnerability to the psychological impacts of disasters, disaster preparedness, and provision of disaster mental health services. In particular, this paper suggests the importance of cultural competence in the planning and delivery of effective disaster mental health services. In order to address the varying circumstances of people with different cultural backgrounds, disaster mental health services must be developed in a culturally sensitive manner. Development of culturally competent disaster mental health services requires significant changes in policy making, administration, and direct service provision
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1
Number of pages10
JournalBuilt and Human Environment Review
Volume7
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2014

Bibliographical note

Special issue: Culture and people in science and technology

This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.

Keywords

  • culture
  • vulnerability
  • psychological impacts
  • disaster management
  • disaster response

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