Trauma - Haiti Observer Blog

Trauma, Haiti Observer Blog. Read the following articles about Trauma


Helping Kids Cope with Trauma

There is no doubt that children who face natural disasters directly, go through an emotional trauma but those who are far away are also affected because of the wide media coverage and they too suffer emotionally and psychologically. There are some psychological techniques that can be used by help these youngsters throughout the world to cope with the trauma. Here are some of the methods:

• Music: Taking popular music and creating new positive lyrics for them can help. Positive lyrics can help to give a happier state and help kids by motivating them. Children can sing among themselves and boost up their confidence. However, if kids are less verbal, they can use drumming as energy or frustration releasing medium.
• Technology: Teach kids how to use the power of internet to get information on good health and coping with trauma instead of looking for horrible news.
• Physical activities: Trauma is not just mental. It is physical too in form of tensed muscles and clenched teeth. A nice relaxing bubble bath, exercise, yoga, playing, riding etc. can help to release the tension.
• Art: Children express better through their drawings instead of verbal expression. Drawing the traumatic experience on one side of the page and a happy incident on the other side help them to get over their trauma.
• Friends: Talking to friends can help kids because after a traumatic incident children generally fail to talk to their parents. Sharing with friends always help.
• Role-play: Asking children to take actions that should normally be taken in case of an emergency help to tone their muscle memory. So, their actions become more automatic under a real emergency situation. Role-play with friends is more effective.
• Gifts for survivors: Simple gifts for peer-survivors after a tragic incident helps to boost self-esteem. Even simple teddy bears or paper cranes with messages of hope and love can help kids to get out of trauma relatively quickly.

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Psychological-Trauma Training Culturally Sensitive to Quake Survivors

Haiti's 7.0 magnitude earthquake, which jolted the country in 2010, left a trail of devastation. Thousands were killed by caved-in structures, and thousands more, maimed and bleeding, lay in the streets. Disaster-aid organizations like Doctors Without Borders performed emergency surgeries. Many hundreds of Haitians in Port-au-Prince fled, escaping images of destruction that were everywhere.

Of those who stayed, they lived in tent communities on the streets, dependent on international aid for food, water, and clothing. But immediate needs for medical attention were not all they had to contend with. The trauma of the earthquake's terrifying power, and its panic-producing aftershocks overwhelmed survivors' psyches and their ability to cope. The psychic damage commonly associated with the Haiti earthquake is known as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

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