Dealing with Psychosocial Situations in Crisis and Disasters

Jan. 01, 2022 to Dec. 31, 2024

Crisis and disasters such as the coronavirus pandemic or the floods in Nordrhein-Westfalen and Rheinland-Pfalz can not only impact the physical health, but can also have a long-term negative effect on the psychosocial well-being of those affected. However, the preliminary project “Psychosocial situation of the population during the corona pandemic” (LaBeCo) already showed that there was little systematized information on the psychosocial condition during the corona crisis. The research project “Coping with psychosocial situations in crises and disasters” (PsychoKat) therefore researches the psychosocial consequences of crisis and disasters on a broader scale and aims to generate a long-term psychosocial picture of the situation in society. The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

The knowledge gained from the data collected and analyzed in the research project on the DRK's service structures, scientific findings from the area of the population's help-seeking behavior in psychosocial crises and disasters as well as nationwide data on the psychosocial situation in Germany flow into a specially developed multifunctional information platform, which is created by Fraunhofer FOKUS and includes a research platform and an interactive dashboard.

The data records are being made available to the DRK employees, for example, as research results sorted by relevance. This provides a contextual overview not only of the current state of research, but also of the tools available for documenting the psychosocial emergency supply (PSNV) and for collecting psychosocial indicators. An additional visualizing component in the form of an interactive dashboard enables additional evaluations according to time, demographic and geographic data, regional context data, epidemiological or socio-economic indicators, etc. This enables users to pursue specific questions and extract or interpret relevant correlations.

In order to evaluate better data harmonization and mitigation of media disruption in the future, Fraunhofer FOKUS will test the feasibility of machine processing of handwritten deployment using scans or photographs for practical use. As a basis for this, Freie Universität Berlin and the German Red Cross are developing a “standardized digital PSNV deployment protocol” as part of the project.