J Korean Neuropsychiatr Assoc.  2015 Feb;54(1):1-5. 10.4306/jknpa.2015.54.1.1.

The Sewol Ferry Accident and Early Mental Health Care Response by Volunteer Activities of Korean Disaster Mental Health Committee and Members of Korean Neuropsychiatric Association

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Department of Psychiatry, Myongji Hospital, Goyang, Korea.
  • 3Psychological Trauma Center, Department of Psychiatric Rehabilitation, Seoul National Hospital, Seoul, Korea.
  • 4Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea. alberto@catholic.ac.kr
  • 5Maum Dream Clinic, Seoul, Korea.
  • 6Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, CHA University, Seoul, Korea.
  • 7Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea.
  • 8Department of Psychiatry, Samsung Medical Center, School of Medicine, Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul, Korea.
  • 9Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, Konyang University, Daejeon, Korea.
  • 10Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Eulji General Hospital, Eulji University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 11Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, Gachon University, Incheon, Korea.
  • 12Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, Hallym University, Chuncheon, Korea.
  • 13Seoul Mental Health Center, Seoul, Korea.
  • 14Korean Disaster & Trauma Mental Health Committee, Seoul, Korea.


On 16 April 2014, the Sewol ferry, carrying 476 people, sank in the ocean off the south coast of South Korea. Two hundred and ninety five are confirmed dead and 9 remain missing. The Korean Neuropsychiatric Association (KNPA) set up a Disaster Mental Health Committee (KDMHC) for out-reach services and to provide general strategies for promoting mental health and resilience. Mem bers of KDMHC and Volunteering Psychiatrists of the KNPA had participated in disaster mental health services organized by Gyeonggi-Ansan disaster mental health support team. Their activities were composed of psychoeducation, supportive individual and familial counseling and referring service to professional institutes. This report has described the outline of the initial and acute mental health care responses by KDMHC and volunteers among KNPA members.


Sewol ferry accident; Disaster mental health; Korean Neuropsychiatric Association Disaster Mental Health Committee
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