PTSD PROGRAM FOR SLUM CHILDREN
Severe cyclonic storm ‘Fani’ hit Odisha coast on May 3, wrecking havoc in Puri and Khurdha districts. The capital city of Bhubaneswar was also affected with the loss of green cover as well as mud and thatched houses of urban slums razed to the ground. The most affected are the slum dwellers who evacuated in time to the nearest safe houses. But the traumatic experience of this disaster left indelible scar on the psyche of the slum children.
The earlier experience of SNEH working with Supper Cyclone affected children of Erasama Block of Jagatsinghpur district in 1999 helped suspect Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) among these slum children. A team of psychologists were consulted and a PTSD program for the affected children launched in the area. Through various creative and recreational activities, individual and group counseling sessions by the trained staff and external resource persons like psychologists and theatre activists, the affected children learnt the coping skills to handle the trauma. Since the schools were closed for summer vacation the poor slum children were deprived of the free mid-day meals. Therefore, a nutritious mid-day meal is also served to about 100 slum children who are participants of this PTSD program.