Can a song help overcome flood trauma? Yes, say psychiatrists here who have come up with innovative ways of helping people to recover from the trauma caused by weeks of flooding.
A team of psychiatrists is urging people to get back to their daily routines and hum a motivational song when they can.
While the song is being repeatedly broadcast on FM radio stations, the psychiatrists have convinced mobile telephone companies to offer it and similar jingles as caller tunes and ring tones.
"Tata and Hutch have agreed to use the song as caller tune. They might introduce it soon," Surat psychiatrist Mukul Choksi told IANS.
Choksi, along with 25 psychiatrists, has spelt out several measures to rehabilitate the distraught residents of the city. They have advised people to engage themselves in routine work and not think of the floods any more.
"Involvement in routine work is the most important psychological rehabilitation measure. Besides this, small gatherings and talks regarding things other than the floods can prevent post-traumatic stress disorder," said Choksi.
He said the number of patients coming to him has increased considerably.
"Those who were suffering from psychological disorders earlier have been the worst affected. There are widespread complaints of insomnia and recurrent dreams of floods and uneasiness among people," he said.
Helping him and his colleagues are Doctors like Kamlesh Dave, who have begun sensitizing teachers in some 250 schools about the psychological rehabilitation of flood-hit children.
"We train teachers for psycho-socio care of kids. We tell them how to identify flood-affected students and what can be done for them," said Dave, an associate professor at the government medical college.
Ritambhara Mehta, another psychiatrist, has concentrated on problems that plague women in such circumstances.
"Our data suggests that women are suffering from anxiety disorders. Body pain, sleeplessness and uneasiness are common complaints," said Mehta.