Experts urge trauma counselling at schools

At least 30 APS families back to square one due to inadequate mental health treatment

Our Correspondent October 01, 2015

PESHAWAR: Schools and colleges should offer a course in post-trauma counselling so all those affected learn to deal with harrowing situations in a healthy manner.

This was the gist of the matter discussed at a seminar held on post-trauma management at Ibadat Hospital in Nishtarabad on Wednesday. Although a four-month course on trauma psychology, along with school mental health management, has become a part of the courses offered in various universities in K-P, a course specifically discussing trauma counselling should be taught as a subject, a speaker argued.

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“At least 30 families of Army Public School (APS) students were rehabilitated and counselled after the gruesome attack. However, none of them could retain what was taught as there is no concept of trauma counselling in schools,” one of the panellists said. About 80 women teachers from various universities across the provincial capital attended the seminar. The head of the Psychology Department at Lady Reading Hospital, Dr Mukhtarul Haq Kazmi, said 13 psychologists went door-to-door to help with counselling and rehabilitating students affected by the Army Public School attack.

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“Depression seemed to have returned in the gap between Eidul Fitr and Eidul Azha and it will take at least six more months to rehabilitate them,” Kazmi said. He continued that talks were under way with the Khyber Medical University to introduce a diploma in Child Trauma and Psychology. “The government has already established psycho-social support centres at different locations in the provincial capital,” he added.

“Parents of APS students need to be trained [and counselled] so that the entire family can return to a normal life,” Principal for Rehman Medical College Dr Tariq Mufti said.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 1st, 2015.


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