The Red Cross Society of China (RCSC) sent its first psychologist team to the quake-hit Mianyang of Southwestern Sichuan Province on Tuesday.
The 19-strong team, composed of medical experts and psychologists from major medical institutions in Beijing, is expected to stay in Mianyang for 10 days.
The psychologists will offer psychological counselling services and train local volunteers on subjects such as post-disaster psychological crisis intervention, according to RCSC.
As a member of the psychological team, former Olympic table tennis champion Deng Yaping, who is also the RCSC ambassador, says she brought with her the spirit of sports, which could inspire and mobilise quake victims to get back on their feet.
Accompanying the team were Yang Yang, China's short-track speed-skating Olympic champion, chess champion Xie Jun and "Springboard Queen"Gao Min. They are set to deliver sports facilities to youngsters.
RCSC plans to send another team into the city on Wednesday, with 24 members, to help with the psychological treatment of the quake-affected people in the area.
(Xinhua News Agency May 20, 2008)