Church agency to provide psychological first aid to Lumad refugees

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Fr. Dan Cancino

MANILA, Sept. 17, 2015–The Catholic Church’s health ministry will be providing medical and psychological support to Lumad refugees in Surigao del Sur.

A Camillian priest, Fr. Dan Cancino of the CBCP Commission Health Care said that aside from basic medical needs, it is necessary to check the “mental heath” of the refugees especially the children caught in the conflict.

“That’s very traumatic,” he said. “Aside from food, they also need medical attention and of course mental health and psychological intervention,” Cancino said over Radio Veritas.

According to him, there will be two separate teams that will be deployed at the evacuation center anytime soon to take care of the children and the adults.

A group of doctors and experts are already being organized in Mindanao, and some will be coming from Luzon, to help in the mission.

It may be recalled that the church agency was among those that immediately responded to the needs of typhoon Yolanda survivors in Visayas by providing them with basic trauma counselling.

They also trained and created a team of “barefoot counselors” to reach out to more victims and as an answer to the lack of psychologists who could counsel families traumatized by the typhoon. (R. Lagarde/CBCPNews)

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