TELEVISION coverage of the tsunami disaster in Asia has triggered a wave of grief among people already affected by personal tragedy, says a grief and bereavement counselor.
Josephite Sister Anne Howley of the Brisbane Grief and Bereavement Support Centre said about 20 of her clients had been affected by seeing coverage of the tsunami tragedy.
‘I’ve had a lot of clients go downhill … It’s really brought back their grief,’ Sr Howley said.
‘You’ve only got to look at the television and there’s nothing but grief on it, and they see it.’
Sr Howley said this was not a bad thing for those she had been counselling, because ‘it puts them in touch with their own grief’.
Her centre is listed as an official contact for people needing counselling as a result of the tsunami – survivors, and the families or friends of survivors or of people who had died.
Meanwhile, Centacare Brisbane has helped several people needing counselling as a result of the Asian tsunami.
Centacare’s Catholic Family and Community Services director in Brisbane, Myolene Carrick, said among those who had sought help were a small number who had been in a tsunami affected country on business at the time of the disaster.
Mrs Carrick said she expected Centacare would see a ‘slow trickle’ of people seeking counselling as a result of the tsunami.
She said no one had contacted Centacare for counselling because they had been psychologically affected from seeing the television images of death and destruction from the tsunami.
She said organisations like Centacare quite often see such residual effects at a later stage, when people’s personal experience may trigger a reaction.
Anyone suffering trauma as a result of the tsunami tragedy can phone the Brisbane Grief and Bereavement Support Centre on (07) 3266 9555 or Centacare Catholic Family and Community Services on (07) 3252 4371.
The Catholic Leader is an Australian award-winning Catholic newspaper that has been published by the Archdiocese of Brisbane since 1929. Our journalism seeks to provide a full, accurate and balanced Catholic perspective of local, national and international news while upholding the dignity of the human person.
The Catholic Leader acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the First Peoples of this country and especially acknowledge the traditional owners on whose lands we live and work throughout the Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane.