Environmental crises affect mental health Thursday, 15 April 2021 10:22

Prof. Yusuf presentation at the International Student Forum, FKp UNAIR (Photo: Adelya Salsabila Putri)

UNAIR NEWS – An earthquake with a magnitude of 5.5 centered in Malang, East Java was also felt by several surrounding areas on Saturday, April 10, 2021. The earthquake caused a lot of losses, not only material losses, but also mental health of the victims. After a disaster strikes, survivors often experience trauma, fear, and shock as a result of losing their family, relatives, and homes.

Prof. Dr. Ah Yusuf S, S.Kp., M. Kes, Dean of FKp UNAIR (Faculty of Nursing, Universitas Airlangga) said that environmental crises due to natural disasters and man-made can increase pressure and discomfort that affect one’s mental health.

“Environmental crises can be caused by natural disasters or man-made, it can force someone to seek help from a mental therapist or psychologist because it can cause depression, anger, and provoke sadism,” he explained at the International Student Forum, FKp UNAIR.

Severe mental disorder and psychosocial problems are mental health problems that often occur in society. Severe mental disorder is a form of mental dysfunction and disorder caused by the failure of the adaptation mechanism of mental functions to external stimuli, resulting in disorders of the psychological structure.

“One of the psychological factors that influence individual behavior is a mental disorder or mental confusion. Like schizophrenia, which is a form of mental dysfunction and disorder caused by a failure to react to the adaptation mechanism of mental functions to stimuli, ” said the mental nursing lecturer.

From the aspect of psychosocial problems, the environmental crises cause inability to interact with the surrounding environment, causing mental retardation. Mental retardation is a state of mental development that is stopped or incomplete, which is characterized by limited skills during development so it affects all levels of intelligence, such as language, motor, cognitive, and social skills.

“There are many psychosocial problems faced by the community in conditions of environmental crises, such as grieving, hopelessness, anxiety, stress, depression, helplessness, ineffective coping, ineffective family coping, and post-traumatic syndrome that causes mental retardation,” he said.

Furthermore, he emphasized that environmental conditions greatly affect one’s mental health. A countermeasure, is directed at the need for clothing, food and shelter which are the most important parts in responding to anticipation of the emergence of mental emotional problems in the community.

Cooperation between the government and non-governmental organizations, both national and international, community centers, families, and health workers is essential for good and effective mental health management. The continuity of programs, exchange of information, and mutual cooperation between these agencies can prevent overlapping implementation of environmental crises management programs. 

UNAIR as the best university in Indonesia always provides assistance during when natural disasters happen as a form of implementation of Higher Education Tri Dharma.

Penulis: Adelya Salsabila Putri 

Editor: Khefti Al Mawalia 

Source: http://news.unair.ac.id/en/2021/04/13/environmental-crises-affect-mental-health/


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