On May 13, 2014, an explosion occurred in the Eynez coal mine facility in Soma, Manisa, which killed 301 mine workers and injured 487 miners. An estimated 11,000 people, including the deceased miners’ families, friends, survivors and their families, search and rescue teams and first responders were assessed to be the potential risk groups, which may need psychosocial care. Union for Psychosocial Services in Disasters (APHB) launched Soma Solidarity Network Project (SOMADA) and established two centers in Soma and Dursunbey districts to deliver psychosocial support services to the affected communities. I lived and worked in Soma and Dursunbey for 11 months after the massacre as the project manager of SOMADA project. This autoethnographic dissertation is comprised of my observations of the impacted families and miners’ transformations following the massacre, and reflections on my experiences as a woman, mental health worker and researcher after 11 months of living and working in a trauma field. I used postmodern, feminist, critical and ecological lenses and analyzed personal journals, media statements, families’ speeches and social media to build a critical autoethnography while documenting my experiences. I presented a detailed documentation of mental health relief efforts post massacre and the operations carried at the centers as well as my reflections on the challenges and triumphs of the project. The observed psychosocial consequences of the massacre on the survivors, victims’ parents, children and wives highlighted the systemic causes and impacts of the massacre as well the possibility of post traumatic growth and resilience in the families if adequate psychological and social support and solidarity in the community are promoted.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation.December 2017. Major: Family Social Science. Advisor: Elizabeth Wieling. 1 computer file (PDF); ix, 184 pages.
Life in Soma, Turkey, After the Mining Massacre of 2014: An Autoethonographic Account of Mental Health Relief Efforts to Affected Families.
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