Mzuzu City Council (MCC) has engaged psychologists from St John of God Hospitaller Services to address trauma among victims of the disasters in Mzuzu.
The council’s assistant director of health and social services, Felix Namakhuwa, said most of the victims are undergoing trauma following loss of relatives, houses and other property.
The disaster in Mzuzu has displaced 7 000 people from 2 000 households and led to loss of six lives.
“The disaster has affected people’s lives in different ways. Some of the victims are affected psychologically such that they are refusing to eat or move to camps.
“As a council, we have decided to involve psychologists from St John of God to counsel them. So, basically we are targeting the bereaved families, the injured and those showing strong signs of trauma due to the disaster,” said Namakhuwa.
One of the psychologists, Ndumanene Silungwe, said presently most of the affected are in shock, denial and psychologically traumatised.
“They are in a psychological state similar to those who lose loved ones in an accident. Failure to accept or understand the loss leads to depression. So, what is needed now is to allow the victims to talk about their pain, fear and frustrations. This will relieve their burden,” he said.
Silungwe said disasters leave victims with scars that can remain permanent if no psychosocial support is provided to them. n