Earthquake survivors

The World

As you approach Mianyang’s stadium, you see truckloads of clothes, water and food being brought in for the ever-growing crowd of survivors. Workers are sterilizing the whole stadium. All around are people, many from one badly hit area. Some sleep, some chat and sit quietly, some stare blankly into space. This factory worker already knows she’s lost her father, two uncles and several friends from her factory. She says her mother left to stay with relatives because she couldn’t stand to hear more bad news at the stadium. There is a counseling center outside in a hot tent. This psychologist is sitting alone in the tent and he’s part of a team of twenty who says very few people have sought out help. He says five people have come so far, and about twenty have agreed to talk to counselors out of the 30,000 people in China. counseling is a relatively new service in China and even a decade ago a stigma existed about seeking psychological help. Old attitudes linger and this psychologist says he works to get people to get their emotions out. So far there don’t seem to be a lot of takers, some don’t want to appear weak or self-indulgent and some are just worried about pouring out too many emotions.

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