Croatian PSS response to Landslides Crisis
The Croatian Red Cross reacted fast when a landslide hit Croatian town Hrvatska Kostajnica on March 13, 2018. On the same day, psychosocial support teams conducted an initial needs assessment and provided psychological first aid to people who were evacuated from their homes and accommodated in private housing and a local hotel.
On March 13 a landslide hit Croatian town Hrvatska Kostajnica. People had to be evacuated from their homes and accommodated in private housing and a local hotel. The Croatian Red Cross reacted fast and sent psychosocial support teams immediately to provide psychological first aid and conduct an initial needs assessment. Between March 13 and March 29, 2018, 8 members of the Psychosocial Support team of the Croatian Red Cross provided psychological first aid to people directly affected by the crisis event as well as to other local community members who showed signs of anxiety and fear of repetition of the stressful event. Activities included:
1) Emotional and practical support for individuals and families: supporting emotional adaptation, reducing stress responses, providing support to people to initiate, activate and take back control of their lives, encouraging family, friends and community supports;
2) Psycho-education of affected persons and members of their families to inform people about most common/expected reactions to crisis events and how to adopt positive coping mechanisms;
3) Gathering and providing important and relevant information and preventing rumours;
4) Coordination and cooperation with other relevant institutions and services (such as local Red Cross branch, Centre for Social Welfare, Local government representatives, Health Services etc.);
5) Provide practical assistance to people in need and distribution of humanitarian aid (food, clothes, non-food items);
6) Other activities based on identified needs which aimed at reducing feelings of helplessness and encouraging self-reliance; planning of future steps.
During this period, support was provided for a total of 41 persons, of whom 5 were children and 10 elderly persons suffered from chronic health problems.
Initiated through this event, on 28 and 29 March 2018, an advanced training on "Psychosocial Support in Crisis Situations" was held for 7 volunteers and staff members of two local Red Cross Branches who will continue the provision of psychosocial support in this area.