Health and Social Services

Public Health, Healthcare, and Social Services have a major impact on the ability of a community to recover. The support of social services programs for at-risk and vulnerable children, individuals, and families affected by a disaster can promote a more effective and rapid recovery.

Social & Cultural

Human social environments encompass the immediate physical surroundings, social relationships, and cultural environments within which defined groups of people interact, live, and develop. It includes the culture that the individual was educated or lives in, and the people and institutions with whom they interact. The interaction may be in person or through communication media, even anonymous or one-way, and may not imply equality of social status.

The social environment includes the groups to which we belong, the neighborhoods in which we live, the organization of our workplaces, and the policies we create to order our lives, the organizations we belong to and the culture within all of those groups and how it develops the people in the communities

Health and Well-being

Health and well-being as being the result of a combination of physical, social, intellectual and emotional factors.

The strongest communities are the safest communities. When a community is well, it can be a powerful, resilient force against crime. Well-being means people are living in conditions that promote mental and physical health, connectedness and resilience. They have dignity and the resources to reach their full potential and thrive.

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as ‘a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity’ (WHO, 1948). … ‘Wellbeing’ refers to a positive rather than neutral state, framing health as a positive aspiration.

Psychosocial Support

‘Psychosocial support’ refers to the actions that address both psychological and social needs of individuals, families and communities. (Psychosocial interventions. A Handbook, page 25.)

Psychosocial support can include counseling, education, spiritual support, group support, and other services.

The term ‘psychosocial’ refers to the dynamic relationship between the psychological dimension of a person and the social dimension of a person. The psychological dimension includes the internal, emotional and thought processes, feelings and reactions, and the social dimension includes relationships, family and community network, social values and cultural practices. ‘Psychosocial support’ refers to the actions that address both psychological and social needs of individuals, families and communities.

These needs are addressed through the provision of feeding, housing, financial assistance, counseling and other services. It also addresses the wider community social structure and mechanisms for supporting the community as a whole, such as the culture and heritage, sports and leisure, education and spiritual groups within the community.

It should also be recognized that all those people involved in an event, including rescue workers, support staff and relatives will have been affected by their experiences. The wellbeing of all must be considered during recovery.


The role of public health providers is to promote, protect, and improve the health of individuals and communities. After a major disaster, public health workers are often called upon to participate in a coordinated response to save lives and prevent unfavorable outcomes to vulnerable populations.
Disasters have direct and indirect effects on the health systems. Death, injury, psychological damages, disability, acute and chronic diseases, infectious diseases, the loss of active work force, destruction of health centers and infrastructures, loss of traditional ways of life and work are among these effects.

All facets of healthcare must work together to empower communities to be part of the healthcare solutions for a community after a disaster. They can offer guidance on improved health practices while in recovery and after to strengthen the health of the community.

Personal and Public Safety

According to Merriam-Webster, the primary definition of safety is “the condition of being free from harm or risk,” which is essentially the same as the primary definition of security, which is “the quality or state of being free from danger.”

The feeling of being physically safe in a building can influence a person’s wellbeing, health, and productivity

both group and personal security. The approach focuses on ensuring that communities and their members are “free from fear”