As rescuers continue to look for survivors and doctors to treat patients, many psychologists are also working overtime in the disaster areas. In Mianyang, many psychologists are offering much-needed comfort to those who have just survived the worst ordeal in their life.
As rescuers continue to look for survivors and doctors to treat patients, many psychologists are also working overtime in the disaster areas.
This is the first time psychological counseling is offered on such a massive scale. Fear, pain, sadness, fatigue. These are the most frequently heard words when survivors try to recall their earthquake experience. To assuage their suffering, psychologists come from all over the country to the quake zone to offer their help.
Zhang Chun, Psychologist said "You are the victims, but you also help save your fellow students' lives. After you've done this, you will fell exhilarated."
Psychologists say such exhilaration will temporarily suppress any negative feeling. But when the crisis is over, the suppressed feelings will return, and they may lead to chronic depression or anxiety.
This condition is likely to affect the victims as well as the rescuers. Both groups have witnessed one too many scenes of horror and experienced much too much during the last week and a half.
This woman has lost all her family members in Beichuan. She kept telling their doctor what she had seen. She swept, then burst into sudden laughter. She couldn't even remember her own age.
Experts say some half a million people may experience some form of mental stress after the Wenchuan earthquake. But such a large-scale counseling service is also unprecedented. They hope the counselors' work will lay a firm foundation of future relief work.
(CCTV May 23, 2008)