“Nuclear radiation, much like the COVID-19 pandemic, is invisible. The mental health effects of the contamination may persist for a long time after the physical health effects… one of the major psychosocial impacts of such an emergency is the need for evacuation and how this impacts access to services, especially for chronically ill people. The uncertainty and contradictory public health information is one of the greatest risks that people are exposed to, which you can also compare to the pandemic.” – Anouk Boschma, IFRC Psychosocial Centre MHPSS Technical Advisor
On 12 April, at the MHPSS European Network Digital Network Meeting ‘Migration in Europe’, Anouk Boschma talked about Mental Health and Psychosocial Support before, during and after radiological and nuclear emergencies.
In this video of Anouk’s presentation, she discusses the importance of mental health and psychosocial interventions in different phases of radiological and nuclear emergencies, and specific evacuation considerations.
For guidance on how Red Cross Red Crescent National Societies can assure mental health and psychosocial support considerations in emergency preparedness, response and recovery from nuclear and radiological emergencies, see chapters 8.5 and 11 of the IFRC Nuclear and Radiological Emergency Guidelines Preparedness, Response and Recovery. The World Health Organization’s provides A framework for mental health and psychosocial support in radiological and nuclear emergencies.
For existing literature, lessons learned from past radiological and nuclear and other public health emergencies, evidence and agreed best practices, and international standards and guidelines, read: Beyond Becquerel and Sievert: Mental health and psychosocial support before, during and after radiation emergencies – ScienceDirect
More resources about MHPSS can be found in the PS Centre resource library.