Trauma counselling for earthquake survivors
BMS World Mission counsellor Jenny Saunders is part of a team that is helping people work through their psychological trauma in Nepal
Living through a disaster is always traumatic. Following the horrific earthquake on 25 April, people in Nepal are facing all kinds of shock, stress, grief and psychological trauma.
Jenny Saunders, a BMS counsellor in Kathmandu, knows it is impractical, and impossible, to try and counsel everyone affected by the earthquake. But she and a small team of counsellors in Nepal’s capital are trying to reach as many people as possible with pyscho-educational talks. “Our strategy is based around the fact that most people at the moment need reassurance that their response to trauma is normal and must take its course,” she says.
Having lived through the earthquake and been quite shaken by it herself, Jenny is well placed to help others to work through their reactions. She and the team of counsellors have been talking to churches and church leaders about coping with post-earthquake trauma. They also have plans to speak to police, leaders of NGOs and government officials. The counsellors hope that these churches and leaders will be able to use what they learn to help those struggling in their communities.
Helping people through their psychological struggles is something that is close to Jenny’s heart ? and she believes it is close to God’s heart, too. “I think counselling has a very important role to play in Christian mission,” she says, “because the mission of the Church should be holistic, caring for the whole person, and that’s exactly what Jesus did. He was concerned about people spiritually, physically, mentally and emotionally.
“I believe that mental health and mental wholeness come from God,” Jenny says. “God is the source of that wholeness, and I would love the Church to reflect that more.”
Help us respond to the earthquake by giving to our earthquake appeal today.
BMS is in Nepal for the long term. Our new resource, My Father’s House, focuses on the spinal rehabilitation work of BMS occupational therapist Megan Barker. Help us with our long-term recovery work in Nepal by ordering your copy of the DVD today.
This article first appeared on the website of BMS World Mission and is used with permission