The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Trained youths to soothe trauma

Nov. 23: A group of young volunteers will soon visit families of the October 30 bomb blast victims in the city to give them psychological support to overcome the trauma.

The young volunteers will be trained during a programme which was kicked off by Peace Centre, Ambari, today.

Pallabi Borthakur, a senior counsellor at the centre, said it has already formed the group of volunteers to give psychological counselling to the traumatised victims of the recent bomb blasts. She said today’s training focused on psychological first aid, emotional stabilisation and post-traumatic disorder.

“Counselling of traumatised victims of horrific incidents like October 30 blasts is not an easy task. So, volunteers need to undergo training and sensitisation programme before they approach the victims. From the next month the volunteers will approach families of the victims of the blasts at Ganeshguri, Panbazar and CJM court. Counselling sessions will also be conducted among the traders of Ganeshguri market who witnessed the blast from close quarters. The volunteers will also go to schools to counsel the students. We have conducted a programme at Cotton Collegiate Government Higher Secondary School,” Borthakur said.

Inaugurating the training programme, V.M. Thomas, the executive director of Don Bosco Institute, said each and every resident of the city has been affected mentally and emotionally by the recent blasts. He said psychological counselling is very important to ensure that the people do not react negatively and do things that are impediments to the natural process of growth of society.

Lila Hazarika, a noted psychiatric counsellor, while speaking on the topic of psychological first aid, said one needs to have a lot of patience and understanding to approach a traumatised victim of disasters like bomb blasts.

According to Hazarika, personal comfort level of counsellors is very important for effective counselling of the victims.

“If a counsellor is suffering from his or her own emotional and mental problems, he or she should not go for counselling others. When you are comfortable with yourself, you are comfortable with others and provide them comfort as well,” she said.

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