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Psycho First Aid Needed For Victims: Fiji Red Cross

Fiji Red Cross Society are training their volunteers and staff in psychological First Aid which will support recovery by helping people to identify their immediate needs and their strengths. Fiji
14 Mar 2016 12:48
Psycho First Aid Needed For Victims: Fiji Red Cross
Fiji Red Cross

Fiji Red Cross Society are training their volunteers and staff in psychological First Aid which will support recovery by helping people to identify their immediate needs and their strengths.

Fiji Red Cross programmes manager Dr Seta Vatucawaqa highlighted the need of psycho social support after the devastation caused by Cyclone Winston.

“From day three after TC Winston we have had feedbacks from our field staff saying we will need counselling and psycho social support especially for our staff as well as for the communities,” Dr Vatucawaqa said.

He said the sheer devastation had caused individuals to be blank and speechless and some tend to get into arguments.

“In some sectors people who are in social groups were beginning to be argumentative with each other just due to the stress of being confronted with total loss according to them,” Dr Vatucawaqa said.

He said Psychological First Aid would assist people in restoring a sense of calm, reduce their stress, and reduce the risk factors of mental illness such as post-traumatic stress disorder.

“It will allow the volunteers and staff that are trained to identify and assist with current needs as psychological first aid is humane, caring and compassionate because it addresses emotional and practical needs and concern,” he said.

The New Zealand Red Cross had sent their psycho social team to assist and help train volunteers and staff of Fiji Red Cross.

“This is a need that has come in early but it will be addressed not only in the short-run but in the long-run as well.

“Our community has suffered greatly having lost their lifes’ earnings in a couple of hours and are not only suffering physically but socially, spiritually and emotionally and even when we talk to them now while they are communicating better you can’t help notice the pauses and long looks and the disjointed thoughts,”  Dr Vatucawaqa said.

 

Edited by Rusiate Mataika

Feedback:  jessica.gounder@fijisun.com.fj



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