|Following Typhoon Morakot, the Taiwan Executive Yuan regulated the Department of Health at local authority and hospital level to execute the project of psychological rehabilitation, following the principle of ‘local service’. However, the concept of ‘local service’ was illustrated in a somewhat limited fashion. This research study has two aims: on one hand, to clarify the principle of ‘local service’ in the project of psychological rehabilitation after the disaster dependent on exploring the documentation; and on the other hand, to analyze the service experience of mental health work teams engaged in the project of psychological rehabilitation following the Typhoon and then recognize the difficulties of providing local services and reflect on the role of the psychiatric social worker. The documents of the service project and interviews with medical team members and local partners were utilized to conduct this research.
There were three major findings: firstly, when these medical professionals entered the disaster area, they were unable to adjust their familiar vision and service model; secondly, the central government reconstruction policy treated individual and collective trauma separately, focusing on providing material and short-term assistance and neglecting to repair connections with the community, so that the policy could not in fact contribute to rehabilitation of collective trauma and resulted in a secondary hazard; and thirdly, the psychiatric social worker plays an important role in being the bridge that helps the medical team enter the community, and also take the role of team leader following the progress of reconstruction.
This study makes two suggestions: firstly, psychiatric social workers could introduce the ecosystem and strength perspectives to medical team members and assist them in rethinking the teamwork model in non-traditional medical fields together; and secondly, enhance the integration between the various government departments and take the correlations between individual and collective trauma seriously.