Healing to Heal – After the Maraş Earthquake

2023 34(1): 1
DOI: 10.5080/u27306
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The February 6th earthquakes devastated us. We’re
ruined, collapsed. In fact, writing at this moment
seems trivial, all I feel like doing is to mourn and
relay my condolences to those who survived (actually to all
of us).
But there are things that must be done. How will we protect
our psyche? What should we do as a part of our species, as a
member of our community and as an individual? Immediately
after the earthquake, The Psychiatric Association of Turkey
took action and organized an educational event for mental
health professionals. In a flash, they’ve prepared a review
paper highlighting the important points in the acute management
of these people and the principles of psychological
first aid. This expert opinion is now published in the current
issue of the Journal, please take a look at that (Yıldız ve ark.
2023). I am not sure whether we will be able to effectively
protect these people from future psychiatric problems (it is up
for debate in later issues), but I know it’s crucial to be with
those who are in need, to show that we are here for them and
to firmly maintain our support; hopefully with the guidance
of this paper.
And to learn. To ease the shock of a later disaster, to still be
standing tomorrow, we have to act now. It has a bitter side to
it but we learn from people who are in pain. We need to convert
our personal experiences into ones that advance ourselves
and our profession. As the Turkish Journal of Psychiatry, we’d
be honored to share your studies on the earthquake. We can
only learn from each other. And we can only heal if we truly
know. We hope to heal ourselves by healing others.
Keep safe.

Yıldız Mİ, Başterzi AD, Yıldırım EA et al. (2023) Preventive and Therapeutic
Mental Health Care after the Earthquake-Expert Opinion from the
Psychiatric Association of Turkey. Turk Psikiyatri Derg 34: 39-49.