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A snapshot of psycho-social issues in camp living. A Sri Lankan landslide May 2016 in the Kegalle district

Matt Broadway-Horner 1


This paper seeks to explore the aspects of being made homeless or Internally Displaced person (IDP) and how the team attempted to assess this. The team of 10 psychological researchers and statisticians spent a day at 5 camps in 4 locations within Kegalle, Sri Lanka. The languages within the team are Tamil, English and Sinhalese. The aim to find out if depression, anxiety and trauma symptoms are evident within child, adolescents and adults categories, 3 months after the landslide triggered by the storm Roanu May 2016. The participants volunteered to be interviewed using self report measures. The psychological researchers did have undergraduate and post graduate degrees in psychology. Whilst the project lead had clinical experience, the researchers did not and so this was their first field trip. The research was granted ethical clearance by the ethics board at CIRP – Colombo. Unfortunately, due to low numbers, significance is problematic and so this paper addresses the experience and lessons learned by implication for professional growth and future research with IDP. But the impact upon men’s health becomes clear as the team discovers the psychosocial aspects of being homeless.


Internal displacement; homeless; disaster relief; masculinity

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