Psychosocial Rehabilitation of the Combatants
A combat veteran’s transition to civilian society from combat is fraught with complications in familial and interpersonal relations, vocational endeavors, and, at times, adherence to societal and legal boundaries (Fairweather & Garcia, 2007). In Sri Lanka a large number of ex combatants transited to civil society without any prier screening process. Many of them have readjustment problems. Psychosocial rehabilitation of the war veterans have been recognized as a crucial component in Sri Lanka. A range of social, educational, occupational, behavioral and cognitive interventions would be needed to address the needs of the combatants who were affected by the war.
Rehabilitation is an ecological approach that aims at the long term recovery and maximum self-sufficiency. In 1996 the World Health Organization came out with a consensus statement on psychosocial rehabilitation. The WHO defined psychosocial rehabilitation as a process that facilitates for individuals who are impaired, disabled or handicapped by a mental disorder to reach an optimal level of independent functioning in the community. Many physically and psychologically traumatized combatants need psychosocial rehabilitation to recover. Warren (2002) of the view that addressing the broader emotional, social and economic needs of survivors is a critical aspect of the rehabilitation process. Support survivors in becoming reintegrated into all aspects of community life, including education, employment, recreation, and social and political activities. Psychosocial Rehabilitation practices help war veterans re-establish normal roles in the community, independence and their reintegration into community life. These interventions should help to manage behaviors, perceptions and reactions to the physical / psychological injury or condition which may hold back the process of recovery or maintenance of the veteran’s well-being.