13 Apr 2015

Children's psychological needs post-Pam addressed

8:02 am on 13 April 2015

UNICEF has now trained more than 50 professionals in Vanuatu on how to address the psychological needs of children following Cyclone Pam.

Children on Makira island

Children on Makira island Photo: NZ / Koroi Hawkins

A five-day workshop last week, which brought together child protection, health and education professionals, focussed on understanding the stress and trauma on young children after a disaster.

The workshop facilitator and consultant to UNICEF, Barbara Kolucki, says even the youngest child can learn to be resilient and to have healthy coping skills during and after emergencies.

"We want to develop communication that addresses their fears and let children know that (a), they are not alone, and secondly, what are some of the coping mechanisms that we can help children develop so that they can become strong and resilient and feel safe again."

Barbara Kolucki says materials developed from the workshop will be published and distributed throughout Vanuatu.

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