Special ‘triage’ training opens doors for ministry to hurricane survivors.

By September 14, 2005

USA (MNN)–Getting medical attention and disaster relief to Hurricane Katrina’s survivors was critical.

Since the days of 9-11, experts agree that those victims also need immediate psychological first aid. That’s where a ministry partnership between professionals and volunteers comes into play.

AMG International’s Paul Jenks says they’re launching a new kind of disaster training aimed at that angle of relief. They’re training their volunteers in Tennessee how to ask specific questions, how to listen, and how to help…with an eye out for those who need critical care.

Jenks describes their training program as a sort of ‘psychological triage.’ The approach is similar to what doctors do with physical injuries, but these traumas, you can’t see, and it’s harder to treat the harm.

Jenks explains that, “When we, or a volunteer, should find a person who is traumatized to an extent that professional care is needed, then the volunteer would quickly transfer that responsibility to somebody who is much better prepared to take it to the next level.”

Quick treatment can reduce the short-term stress, and it can alleviate the post trauma problems that frequently haunt disaster survivors.

In addition, the children who lived through the hurricane and the aftermath may not be able to express themselves adequately. They may show signs of psychological stress which could be problematic later.

Because of their approach to the crisis, Jenks says their teams can also minister, because, “It gives us a reason to be face to face with a person who has been dislocated or traumatized and our first desire is to be of help” to the community.

The important factor is what happens in the process. Jenks adds, “…as a relationship is built up, the motivating factor for us is the love of Jesus Christ.”

A life changing balm for a savaged soul…

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