While the devastating Ebola epidemic has been contained, the effects of this outbreak—referred to by the World Health Organization as “the most severe acute public health emergency seen in modern times”—have wreaked a tremendous emotional toll on the populations of West Africa as well as on families and survivors worldwide. This groundbreaking book covers the psychosocial needs, programs, and policies related to the Ebola epidemic and examines broader lessons of the outbreak, such as changes in the ways in which healing from future epidemics can be handled.
Edited by Judy Kuriansky, PhD, a noted clinical psychologist and United Nations NGO representative with extensive experience helping after disasters worldwide, and direct experience gained from being “on the ground” in West Africa in the midst of the epidemic, this book identifies and explains universal psychological factors at play in all such crises. It debunks myths regarding Ebola and describes the resulting psychological and social harm caused by the epidemic. The chapters cover overarching emotional issues and problems as well as the long-term impact on at-risk groups, such as children, women, and health workers; the impact of emotional issues on social and economic life; responses of government officials, media, and various aid organizations; and solutions being offered by groups worldwide, including service and humanitarian organizations, politicians, policymakers, and public health education groups.
- Addresses the various myths and resulting psychological, social, and economic harm caused by Ebola
- Presents models of psychosocial support and help offered by local as well as international aid organizations
- Covers efforts to build the mental health infrastructure of the affected countries, revealing the importance of integrating mental health care into primary health care
- Explains government and media responses to the Ebola epidemic
- Supplies critically important information for psychologists and mental health workers, health professionals of all disciplines, public health students, government officials, policymakers, and all individuals and groups interested in providing psychosocial support
- Includes a foreword by an important official and endorsements by other significant stakeholders in the fight against Ebola