Charlene Lanyon, Saturday, February 27, 2016
THE psychological and emotional needs of individuals who experienced or witnessed the monster effect of Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston should also be addressed.
Empower Pacific CEO Patrick Morgam said although basic need relief assistance was being provided by many organisations and donors the mental state of victims should also be considered.
"Many in the communities are traumatised especially children, women and elders," Mr Morgam said.
Mr Morgam said the organisation had deployed its crises response team (CRT) made up of counsellors and social workers to areas throughout Fiji.
"Our teams are also at evacuation centres and two teams have left for the maritime areas of Vanuabalavu, Gau, Nairai, Batiki in the Lomaiviti Group with Divisional Commissioner Eastern's Relief Team.
"Our initial focus is to provide follow-up counselling to those who need long-term psychological intervention.
He added three days of initial field work showed the urgent need for counselling as many were left traumatised and helpless after the cyclone experience.
"There are many cases of children who have been referred to us for counselling and for other needs.
"We are working round-the-clock to link them to other services provided in respect of their other needs.
"In terms of counselling needs, no doubt the uptake of counselling will increase as we continuously strive to reach more and more affected communities.