Post cyclone trauma counseling hosted for slum children in Bhubaneswar

Bhubaneswar: A Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) counseling program is being conducted at Salia Sahi in the capital city to help the slum children to overcome from the trauma that they had received due to cyclone Fani. Hosted by volunteers of the Society for Nature, Education and Health (SNEH) NGO the program began on May 20 and will continue till June 16, 2019.  The participating children are also being provided with a nutritious meal every day.

traumaPost-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.

Telling about the program SNEH’s Dibakar Mahali said, “Seeing the gathering clouds in the sky and roaring of thunder Kartika, a 12-year-old kid of Salia Sahi scurries for cover in the corner of his house in the slum. Similarly, Sony, a 10-year-old girl of the same slum complains of bouts of fear and nausea every time the sky opens up. Post Fani SNEH volunteers observed it and came forward to orgainse the program to help out the children to overcome off the trauma.”

The earlier experience of the organization working with Supper Cyclone-affected children of Erasama Block of Jagatsinghpur district helped them suspect Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) among these slum children.

Accordingly, a team of psychologists was consulted and a PTSD program for the affected children was launched in Salia Sahi. Under the program, the slum children gather every day at the recreation and activity center, set up by SNEH at Mayfair Nagar habitation of the slum. A few volunteers help them with their studies to complete the holiday homework.

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Later the psychologists conduct various group counseling programs involving the kids in creative activities.

Theatre activist Satyabrat Panda has also conducted theatre workshops for the affected children. Kartik and Sony and a few like them have also been extended individual counseling services by the psychologists.

Since the schools are closed for summer vacation the poor slum children are now deprived of the free mid-day meals. Therefore, a nutritious mid-day meal is being served to about 100 slum children who are participating in the program. These activities complement the ongoing peace-building project of the organization in the area.

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