Apart from physical injuries and tangible losses, disasters can lead to various psychological consequences. In addition to medical care, Hospital Authority (HA) is dedicated to developing disaster psychosocial services (DPS) for both disaster survivors & their families and its own staff to address their needs, and alleviate the negative psychological impacts of disasters.
Services for Disaster Survivors & their Families
Disaster Psychosocial Services Teams (DPSTs) have been set up in 17 acute general hospitals since 1999, under which Medical Social Workers and Clinical Psychologists provide DPS to help survivors who received medical treatments and their families:
- mitigate their adverse psychological consequences, and
- increase their adaptive behaviors in face of disasters.
DPSTs have provided support in various local disasters, including the school bus crash to roadside in North Point in December 2018 and bus crash on Tai Po Road in February 2018. Their support was crucial for those in need. There is a heightening awareness of DPS's importance in the community. Media coverage of the services also gradually increases.
Services for HA Staff
Research found that not only would primary and secondary victims experience disaster-triggered psychological and social impact, but emergency rescuers and healthcare workers (see Who will be affected) would also fall victim due to the extreme stress from deployment during disasters.
Out of care for the mental well-being of its staff, HA established the Corporate Clinical Psychology Services (CCPS) in 1996. In addition to developing DPS in HA, CCPS also aims to provide various psychological services and crisis intervention for staff. In 2002, CCPS strengthened its staff support service and founded "Oasis – Centre for Personal Growth and Crisis Intervention (Oasis)". In recent years, a stepped-care model is developed to match the needs of staff with services at different levels of intensity. To find out more about the psychological services for HA staff, you may visit Oasis Website (Chinese only).