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Sri Lanka Taking Steps to Reduce Suicides After the Tsunami

Sri Lanka Taking Steps to Reduce Suicides After the Tsunami

by Kevin Caruso

January 8, 2005

Doctors, psychiatrists, and psychologists in Sri Lanka are volunteering in an effort to reach out to those who are suffering psychologically in the aftermath of the tsunami. Their objective is to reduce the number of post-tsunami suicides.

Sujeewa Amarasena, a Sri Lankan doctor, is organizing the program.

"The alarm bells rang when I learned of the first suicide because of the tsunami," said Doctor Amarasena. "We have to undertake psychological care immediately. This is urgent."

The outreach program will offer tsunami survivors emergency psychological help. The focus will not only be on ameliorating current psychological problems, but also taking steps to preclude future psychological problems, such as post-trauma stress syndrome.

"Traumatized people can commit suicide 30 years later," said Doctor Amarasena. "We have to try to minimize the consequences from the start and offer psychological support."

Unfortunately, because innumerable people need help and there are a limited number of volunteers, it is difficult to dedicate adequate time to each person.

"After a day, you are supposed to be able to tell whether the person you offered to help is okay," said Doctor Amarasena. "You have to be able to determine who needs a psychiatrist. We don't yet know who can recover from the shock with only minimum support."


Please click below to help the tsunami victims now:

If you or someone you know is suicidal, please go to the Home Page of this website for immediate help.

Thank you.

I love you.

Take care,

Kevin Caruso

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