Gas disaster leaves mental health scar

22nd February 2006, Comments 0 comments

22 February 2006, BRUSSELS — An increasing number of Ghislenghien residents are complaining of mental health problems since the massive gas explosion on 30 July 2004.

22 February 2006

BRUSSELS — An increasing number of Ghislenghien residents are complaining of mental health problems since the massive gas explosion on 30 July 2004.

The findings were included in a study by the Belgian Academic Institute for Public Health, the psychology department at UCL and the study centre at the Royal Military School.

The Ghislenghien gas disaster cost the lives of 24 people. The research conducted into the mental health impact was the first study conducted into a disaster, newspaper 'La Dernière Heure' reported on Wednesday.

Five months after the explosion, a survey was sent to the residents of seven nearby villages and the personnel of four factories located on the industrial site where the disaster occurred.

The survey indicated the residents of Ghislenghien were three times as likely to suffer from somatoform problems (psychological problems in which a person experiences physical complaints where there is no physiological cause).

The residents also suffered 2.5 times more from depression, triple the amount of angst problems and 1.5 more times sleeping problems.

In general, 36.7 percent of those surveyed said they had been confronted with at least one mental health problem.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Belgian news

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