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Psychologists calm passengers stranded in snow
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Passengers stranded by snow in east China's Zhejiang Province are receiving counseling from psychology experts in the crowded waiting halls of the train terminal.

The municipal government of Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang, has set up a team of 16 psychologists to provide crisis intervention counseling to anxious travelers waiting to go home.

"Weariness and anxiety could lead to the malfunction of people's immune system and result in psychological problems," said Zhao Guoqiu, a psychological intervention expert who heads the team. "It is very necessary to provide psychological help to the stranded who are always under great pressure."

He told passengers it was useless to complain and cry and instead encouraged them to turn to other means of transport to get home. "Listening, smiles and patience are all effective measures to calm them."

Chen Wendou, a passenger heading for central Hubei Province, was greatly relieved after talking with Zhao.

"After several nights waiting in the cold waiting hall, I was at the verge of collapse," he said.

A large number of passengers have been stranded by the continuous snowfall and sleet in Hangzhou, the majority of whom were rural migrant workers heading home for next week's traditional Lunar New Year.

(Xinhua News Agency February 1, 2008)


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