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SAI Events – Disasters and Mental Health

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Project: Disasters and Mental Health



SAI and Aman Foundation Meeting
Cambridge,  June 28, 2013
This meeting of Harvard clinicians and Dr. Junaid Razzak, CEO Aman Health was to discuss key issues of mental health systems and disaster response in Karachi. From the meeting, there emerged three areas of focus for collaboration between Harvard and the Aman Foundation to support the development of mental health systems in Karachi , including psychological first aid training, caring for the caregiver, and women’s access to mental health services. Similarly, three needs were identified in the area of disaster relief response, including the development of a plan for urban disaster response, training for senior decision makers in government and response agencies, and preparing frontline responders.


Arthur Kleinman, left, and Jennifer Leaning at the Global Health Seminar

Global Health Seminar: Mental Health Access for Women in South Asia and China
Cambridge, November 1, 2013
In a seminar cosponsored by the Harvard Asia Center, Arthur Kleinman (FAS and HMS) and Jennifer Leaning (HSPH and HMS) discussed and compared access of mental health services for women in China and South Asia. Issues raised included mental health services as a human rights issue, the social stigma around mental illness, and access to adequate and effective treatment.


Vikram Patel at the seminar ‘China and India in the Context of Global Mental Health’

China and India in the Context of Global Mental Health
Cambridge, March 5, 2014
Michael Phillips, Director, Suicide Research and Prevention Center, Shanghai Mental Health Center, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine; Executive Director, WHO Collaborating Center for Research and Training in Suicide Prevention, Beijing Huilongguan Hospital; Professor of Psychiatry and Global Health, Emory University School of Medicine.
Vikram Patel, Professor of International Mental Health, Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the Public Health Foundation of India & Sangath

Arthur Kleinman, Esther and Sidney Rabb Professor, Department of Anthropology, FAS  and Professor of Medical Anthropology in Global Health and Social Medicine and Professor of Psychiatry, HMSShekar Saxena, Director of the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse at World Health Organization, Geneva
Organized by SAI, the Harvard Asia Center, and the China Medical Board



Jennifer Leaning speaking at the urbanization conference in Karachi

Urban Disaster Response Symposium and Needs Assessment
Karachi, Pakistan, September and October, 2013
Over a series of meetings and symposia coordinated by the Aman Foundation with representatives from Harvard, city leaders in the health sector, representatives from emergency response services, and hospital administrators gathered to discuss the need for coordination of health services in Karachi. These conversations led to clear needs for capacity building and coordination for emergency first responders.


Mental Health and the Urban Environment
Karachi, Pakistan, January 12, 2014
As part of the Contemporary South Asian City Conference, this panel confronted the complicated relationship between mental health and urbanization in the context of Karachi and other major urban centers in Pakistan. Of particular interest to the discussion was the provision of trauma care in dense urban settings, emergency transit services, and other innovations in health care to help alleviate the problems associated with urban life.


Disaster and Mass Casualty Response in Urban Crisis
Karachi, Pakistan, January 12, 2014
As part of the Contemporary South Asian City Conference, this panel addressed best practice in urban disaster planning and response, and focused on the provision of trauma care in dense urban settings, including issues of on-scene site control, crowd management, emergency triage, and emergency patient transport. Strategies for integrating plans to promote hospital-based casualty reception and burden sharing were discussed.


Training first responders in Karachi

Trainings for First Responders in Mass Casualty Response
Karachi, Pakistan, January, 2014
A team from Harvard conducted two trainings in Karachi, in partnership with the Aman Foundation. The first training was for senior leaders of Emergency Rooms, while the second was for Ambulance and Field Paramedics, as well as police personnel. Curricula on first responder training and incident command training were created for these trainings.