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Mental health workers provide vital comfort

By ZHAO LEI and YANG YAO (China Daily)

09:18, April 24, 2013

Cheng Wenjuan, a therapist with Chengdu's air force medical team, tests residents' blood pressure on Tuesday in Gucheng, a village in Lushan county, Sichuan province. Team members were the first medical personnel to enter the disaster area after Saturday's magnitude-7 earthquake. (Liu Yinghua / for China Daily)

"My house collapsed, my house collapsed," Gao Zhenqing said, her eyes filling with tears.

The woman, in her 80s, lost her home in Yuxi village and everything inside when the earthquake struck Sichuan province's Lushan county on Saturday.

She has been unable to get over the loss and said she feels hopeless.

"This is a case of traumatized psychological disorder,"said Dong Wen, a therapist with Chengdu's air force medical team, the first medical personnel to enter the disaster area after the magnitude-7 earthquake.

"But it is not easy to discern. Some people would simply take this reaction as over-sadness or stubbornness and would neglect the effect."

Arriving in Lushan at around 4:30 pm on Saturday, the team began providing medical aid, epidemic prevention and psychological intervention.

Dong and his colleagues have found five traumatized psychological disorder cases in the village.

"Old people and children, who are more vulnerable than young and middle-aged people, are the focus of our screening,"the doctor said.

Through interviews, the professional therapists were able to determine which people may be suffering from psychological issues.

"Some old people were really stubborn and would not leave their houses,"said He Qiang, leader of the team.

"This is dangerous. Their obsession with economic loss or physical injury could lead to future problems and hinder disaster relief."

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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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