Australia Salvos offers psychological support to New Zealand quake victims

10:50, September 13, 2010      

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The first of three Salvation Army teams from Australia will depart on Monday for earthquake- stricken Christchurch, New Zealand, to offer psychological support to victims.

The team includes six chaplains and pastoral care workers who all have extensive experience in critical incident stress management and counseling.

A 7.1 magnitude earthquake rocked the city of 340,000 on Sept. 4 followed by hundreds of aftershocks in the days after the disaster.

More than 100,000 houses were damaged by the quake but no one was killed and injuries have mostly been minor.

Team leader Major Susan Reese said her team would not only provide crucial services to those in strife but would allow New Zealand Salvo teams a much-needed break.

"Many people are suffering and need someone to talk to and the Salvation Army has the ability to provide this support and link people in distress to other services and agencies," Major Reese said in a statement.

"The ongoing aftershocks have exacerbated the trauma people have suffered. Many cannot yet go back to their homes and are still living in emergency shelter situations."

The team departs Monday morning from Sydney of Australia and is expected to return on Sept. 19.

Two additional teams are expected to depart for Christchurch respectively on Sept. 20 and Sept. 27.

Source: Xinhua


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