Typhoon Haiyan: Malteser International helps survivors overcome trauma
Psychosocial care expert to travel to Philippines
Malteser International will provide psychosocial care to the survivors of Typhoon Haiyan, the organization reported Wednesday. “There are many stress factors that can lead to trauma after a disaster of these proportions. These people have witnessed horrifying things, whether it’s the destruction of their homes or the loss of family members,” says Dr. Marie Theres Benner, Malteser International health expert.
As part of psycho-social care, helpers listen to the survivors, give them advice on how to cope, as well as offer a space and opportunities for social activities. “Recreational and community-building activities such as sports, painting, or cleanup work are extremely important after a disaster, both for children and adults,” Benner adds. “Religious and spiritual support also play an important role for many of the affected. But sometimes, what they need most is practical information on where to find water or medical assistance – these are some of the things that trained psychosocial caregivers can offer.” Malteser International is sending large-capacity tents to the disaster areas that can be used to house mobile health clinics as well as psychosocial support activities, such child-friendly spaces.
Benner will travel to the disaster region this week in order to plan Malteser International’s future activities, including psychosocial care.
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