Questioning Psychosocial Resilience After Flooding and the Consequences for Disaster Risk Reduction

Andrew Crabtree

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

    Abstract

    This paper questions George Bonanno’s concept of resilience as “relatively stable, healthy levels of psychological and physiological functioning” (Bonanno in Am Psychol 59(1):20–28, 2004) following potentially traumatic events (PTE). It agrees with Bonanno’s claim that significant numbers of people may suffer from mental disorders following a PTE, but disagrees that the majority of people are resilient. Furthermore it argues that we should not see PTEs as one event, but as involving a number of stressors and having a variety of consequences. Drawing on fieldwork carried out in Rajni village, Bihar following the 2008 Kosi River flooding, it documents, 18 months post flood, that flood onset gave rise to symptoms related to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (primarily re-experiencing). The villagers’ primary concern was livelihood loss which, together with their lack of hope for the future, led to symptoms of depression. It argues that mental health issues should be fully integrated into Disaster Risk Reduction plans and policies, which are likely to be included in the Post-2015 Millennium Development Goals. In addition to supporting mental health interventions, the paper suggests that deep socio-cultural changes are necessary to ensure improvements in mental health.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalSocial Indicators Research
    Volume113
    Issue number2
    Pages (from-to)711-728
    Number of pages27
    ISSN0303-8300
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2013

    Keywords

    • Resilience D
    • Disaster Risk Reduction
    • MDGs
    • Mental Health
    • Flooding
    • Livelihood Loss

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