Psychosocial Counselling and Support in Palung
As a continuum to the BNMT efforts on providing a safe environment and firm support to the people affected by the devastating earthquake, a team of counselor was in Palung, Thaha municipality in Makwanpur district on 20th May 2015.
The psychosocial support session was conducted among the key community stakeholders; teachers, nurses, local leaders, Female Community Health Volunteers and some youth from the particular community. A total of 23 participants were directly benefited from the counseling session. The Local Development Officer and Constituent Assembly Representative from the area also attended the session. They shared that addressing the mental health agendas in post disaster setting is of great importance and they highly appreciated the efforts of BNMT on doing so.
The session had two elements; sharing of the earthquake experiences with the peers followed by discussion on related psychosocial skills.
At first the participants voluntarily shared their experiences, fears and thoughts during and after the earthquake. Many of them mentioned that they are still scared of the earthquake and are finding it hard to adapt a positive overview after the incident. As the session progressed the participants also discussed on the probable solution and developing coping mechanism to move on after the disaster.
As most of the participants were key community leaders, they also presented their willingness to help the community. Hence the next session was focused on providing insight on basic psychosocial skills to spread the positive message and to build up resilience among the people to start a “new normal” life. The session ended with commitment from the participants to deliver a positive note to their community and help each other to strengthen up physically and emotionally.
One of the purposes of BNMT is to create a support group from within the community so that they can reach to most affected individuals. A follow up session for this group will be done to further strengthen and empower the community leaders to create a sustainable environment for people of Palung to positively deal with the hardship brought by the earthquake.
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