Religious Psycho-Spiritual Care Services for Disaster Victims

Rafeah Saidon, Siti Khadijah Ab Manan, Noorul Huda Sahari, Asmak Husin, Nurul Sakinah Aziz
Academy of Contemporary Islamic Studies, Universiti Teknologi MARA

Rosilawati Sueb
Faculty of Education, Universiti Teknologi MARA

Fairuz Nazri Abd Rahman
Psychiatry Department, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia


Abstract

Natural disasters have severe psycho-spiritual impacts. While the emotional injuries might not be as obvious as the damage to properties, it usually requires a much longer time to recover compared to material losses. Prompt and sufficient psycho-spiritual support care is able to avoid more serious distress and anguish. It also helps the sufferers in dealing with their issues while adapting to their daily lives. Sufferers tend to deal with traumatic or stressful situations according to their religious faith. Unfortunately, a review of the literature indicates that psycho-spiritual care services are still lacking particularly in the context of Islamic religious perspectives. Therefore, this paper studied the existing practice of Islamic psycho-spiritual care services in Malaysia, and the possible areas of improvements in the existing practice primarily via a qualitative method using semi-structured interview. Literature on related studies such as documents, manuals, journal articles and books were also extensively reviewed. Findings show that from the existing practice, there is no such comprehensive psycho spiritual care services system as they provide only the general stages of action to be carried out for psychologically supporting the disaster victims. Good psycho-spiritual care service models are still lacking, particularly in the context of the Islamic perspective.

Keywords: Natural disasters, Psycho-spiritual care, Services, Islamic perspective