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PSYCHOSOCIAL INTERVENTION AFTER A CATASTROPHIC EVENT

What We Do

Intervention following traumatic or catastrophic events that have affected an entire community is implemented after consultation with the Ministry of Education or the Ministry of Health.  The intervention is aimed at crisis management and, where feasible, organizing the long term support of students, educators and parents.

Since Merimna was established in 1995, the Childhood Bereavement Counseling Center has undertaken, at the request of the Ministries of Education and Health, three psychosocial interventions at schools in the following communities that were affected by a natural disaster or traumatic event:

The intervention was undertaken by Merimna in cooperation with the educators and psychologists who attended a funded training program (EPEAEK II) entitled “Sensitization and Training of Health and Education Professionals who Support Children who have Experienced Serious Illness and/or a Death in their Lives”.

This accident resulted in the deaths of 7 high school students and Merimna conducted an intervention in cooperation with 9 schools in the Farkadonas district over a period of three years.  Many activities were implemented with students, educators, parents and municipal employees.  This collaboration facilitated the processing of the traumatic experiences they had experienced and was recorded in the documentary “Pathways through Loss” which is currently used to train educators and mental health professionals to identify and effectively respond to children who have had traumatic experiences.

After constructing the labyrinth all together The students walked through, while reflecting on the pathways through loss and trauma that they experienced together, before their graduation from the Lyceum of Farkadonas, 2007.

Merimna undertook the psychological evaluation and management of the psychological impact of the fires on the students and teachers of 120 schools in Pyrgos and Amaliada, Peloponnese. Within the framework of the intervention, seminars and workshops for teachers, school administrators and mental health professionals in the region were carried out. In addition Merimna personnel offered an annual training program “Crisis Management in Schools” with the intention that the administrators and teachers who took part could develop a comprehensive crisis management program for implementation in each of their schools.. Finally Merimna created an interactive program, with a focus on the life cycle, for children and adolescents.  “A Tied Green Thread Wrapped on a Tree…”  This activity gave students, who had been exposed to the fires, the opportunity to write, draw and construct a tree that could help them to tell their stories.  They then shared their stories with students from other schools in the area.  All the materials and instructions for this activity were created and provided by Merimna.

Drawings and stories of trees by elementary school students in Pyrgos, Ilis.