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Mental help urged to protect quake victims
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We should step up psychological intervention to prevent victims from committing suicide, says an article on information portal www.jxcn.cn. Following is an excerpt:

Feng Xiang, deputy head of the publicity department of the Beichuan Qiang autonomous county in Sichuan province, committed suicide by hanging himself on April 20 for losing interest in life in the wake of the May 12 quake in the region last year. Not long ago, Dong Yufei committed suicide for the same reason.

Feng chose to kill himself because he could not walk out of the shadows of the earthquake. Usually, severe disasters will cause huge psychological trauma to victims, who will experience fear, helplessness, loss of control and destruction because they cannot conquer the disaster in their minds. Suicide will follow if they cannot escape from the experience.

As a father who lost his son in the quake, Feng mainly served as a guide for government leaders and journalists from across the country visiting the leveled county town of Beichuan. He had to explain over and over again to outsiders how many people died.

We can imagine the repetition of the horrible quake scenes augmenting the pain in his heart. Once the pain went beyond Feng's psychological limits, he could have lost all hope for life. The overdose of attention given to the quake was the sword that killed Feng.

We should increase efforts for psychological intervention, help quake victims deal with the trauma and prevent others from doing anything that might hurt the victims psychologically.

(China Daily April 22, 2009)


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