Staff at Photo and Possession Recovery Center
IMCRA-DOJ New York staff will be meeting with our Japanese colleagues between the 6th and 19th of June in an effort to incorporate the learnings from our 4th Colloquium/Workshop (Nurses and Mobile HealthCare Workers) into refinements of the Community Cyberspace initiative. The colloquium/workshop extends our mission to capture the voice of local healthcare service providers who want to share what they have learned and experienced in their interactions with survivors. In addition to improving interactions with survivors in the Community Cyberspace program we are striving to make these learnings accessable both as archival information and as vital improvements in current efforts.
Among the challenges we have been facing recently in this initiative is both survivor and provider exhaustion. The proliferation of programs dedicated to long and short term remediation have taken a toll on both parties. When politeness and duty are extended in all directions there comes a time when people prefer to withdraw rather than participate in another activity which may have only peripheral impact on their needs.
Healthcare providers and colleagues alike who have regularly been traveling to and serving the more isolated temporary communities in Tohoku over the last two years confirm many of the same stresses and challenges as the people they serve. Among service receipients, many of those once involved in programs that would enhance their re-integration with the larger community may now prefer to be left alone. Unfortunately, in many cases this loss of interest in communication with loved ones is a danger sign and often a first milestone on the road to hikikomori.
Understanding what brings this about is critically valuable information both for Japan and the rest of the world. The months and years after a disaster can be particularly deadly, and as we've learned, not only for the survivors, but for those who serve them. Thus, we are fortunate to be working with Dr. Jun Shigemura of Saitama in this effort.
In the US we've experienced some particularly bad disasters recently such as hurricane Sandy, the tornado in Oklahoma, the Boston bombing and the Newtown massacre of children. In terms of the psychological and physical impact of life-altering negative experiences the survivors and caregivers in Tohoku share a bond with the American victims. Later this summer, IMCRA will also reach out to the Boston and Newtown families - applying some of what was learned in Japan via the Community Cyberspace program to larger global needs.
Temporary Housing Residents and Questionnaires
Temporary Housing Residents and QuestionnairesAttachments: