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Trauma soothed after deadly quake (3)


08:05, April 27, 2013


In the wake of the earthquake, Sichuan's health department set up a workgroup on psychological and medical support along with two expert panels.

About 80 experts from Sichuan's eight medical institutions have entered Lushan and Baoxing counties, worst hit in the quake, to evaluate local residents' psychological needs, said Zhang Wei, deputy head of the workgroup.

These experts are training local medical staff on psychological intervention and rehabilitation, Zhang said, adding that additional support from other provinces will be brought in if needed.

Experts said psychological support -- an integral part in the relief effort along with life rescue and logistics support -- is a challenging task that needs adequate financial backing and coordination among health, education and civil affairs departments. The help should remain available five to 10 years after the disaster.

The Wenchuan earthquake in 2008 raised the importance of psychological support among the government and the public, said Liu from the Institute of Psychology, adding that the country has made progress on the policy front but should also aim for better implementation among various government departments.

He wants a fund specially earmarked for psychological programs from the budget for relief efforts.

According to Liu, the Institute of Psychology is still running six of 10 psychological support centers, which were established after the Wenchuan earthquake. More than 1,000 specialists and 2,500 volunteers have been involved in the program.

"The cost of running these counselling centers, estimated to be 10 million yuan (1.6 million U.S. dollars) mostly from donations, underscores the need for financial support. Otherwise, it will be too expensive for the programs to carry on," Liu said.

In the counselling center in Longxing school, Xiao Cheng was shown photos of a city, which was reconstructed after the Wenchuan earthquake.

"I hope my hometown will be as beautiful as this one," he said.

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Touching moments:

Daily life of quake victims in Sichuan

High school students prepare for exam in tent

Rescuers struggling to reach every household

Soldiers bring hope to earthquake-hit region

First night after deadly earthquake

Rescuers work hard at quake-hit area in Sichuan

>>>Quake-hit China grows in pain

The principle of sparing no efforts to save lives cannot be more stressed. No minute or even second should be delayed during the "golden rescue period" in the first 72 hours after the quake.

>>>Pilot cancels wedding to participate in quake relief

When the 7.0-magnitude quake happened, Zhang Shangnian, a pilot from an aviation brigade of Chengdu Military Region, was about to hold his wedding.

>>>Nurse returns to work after losing mother

Just likes other medical staff, she was busy with rescuing people injured in the earthquake in SW China, but no one knew her mother just died in the quake.

>>>Wedding ceremony without bridegroom held on schedule

Zhuo Jia, the bridegroom, is a solider of the Chengdu Military Region; he had to leave his beautiful bride behind to participate in earthquake relief.

>>>An injured girl's smile moves many

"Your smile makes the entire world beautiful,” a photo of a smiling girl with bandage on her head has moved so many Chinese netizens.

>>>Teenager saves mom with his bare hands

The mother moves away a precast slab weighing over 50 kilograms alone to save her son in the earthquake. She said she did not know where her strength came from.

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