Children gathered together as healing process begins

Updated: 2013-04-24 01:42

By Hu Yongqi and An Baijie in Ya'an, Sichuan and He Na in Beijing (China Daily)

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As part of the program, students were divided into several groups and could use the opportunity to speak about their worries.

Liu Qi, 13, witnessed his two-storey home collapsing and the bleeding of the injured in his village.

"The scene was so scary and I refused to think about it, but it kept appeared in my mind. I dared not fall asleep at night. I slept less than two hours on average during the past three days," the boy said through tears.

"I felt much better after speaking out. Maybe I can have a sound sleep tonight," the boy said and let out a long breath.

Children gathered together as healing process begins

Earthquake Strikes Ya'an, Sichuan

Not only children need counseling. Adults, especially the middle-aged with children and frail parents to support, also need help.

"Our house completely collapsed, my father's leg was injured by a falling beam, and the food is only enough for tomorrow. As the breadwinner of the six-member family, I've never felt so depressed," Zhang Quanping, 38, told Liu.

"I really want to have a good rest to get rid of all the trouble, at least for a moment, but the whole family needs me, so I must be strong," he said.

Meanwhile, the Odeman Outward Bound Center, a Hong Kong-based NGO, hosted an event on Tuesday mainly for Lushan county Primary School students to provide psychological aid. About 50 children from 6 to 14 years old attended.

Long Qing, a teacher from the center, said: "What we do during mental health training is to encourage the students to be optimistic, confident and happy".

Long, said most of the students experienced the quake, and some of their family members were killed or injured.

At the event, Long and three other teachers tried to create an active atmosphere, with the children playing group games, making speeches and sharing their feelings with others at the gathering.

"Our goal is clear and simple — to make the children happier and reduce loneliness," Long said. "Psychological aid is not about teaching the children doctrines, but to make them communicate with others and lighten their mood."


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