Satkaara: Psychological First Aid in post-disaster children

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(Photo: Prive. Doc)

IO – Indonesia’s strategic location on the equator and three plates of Eurasia, Indoasia, and Pacific are one of the main factors for frequent natural disasters. Indonesia is included in the 35 most vulnerable countries in the world. Throughout 2021, the National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) recorded that 1,125 natural disasters have occurred in the country.

Natural disasters such as earthquakes or tsunamis have an enormous destructive impact on society; almost all fields are affected and even crippled – education is no exception. According to data from the Ministry of Education and Culture as of 2017, 250,000 schools in Indonesia are in high-risk multi-disaster areas. If disasters hit, not only could school buildings collapse, education-related activities are practically stopped.

The impact of disasters that often goes unnoticed is mental (psychological) disorders in children, more commonly known as trauma. In contrast to the calculated social or economic costs of damage, the psychological impact on children after a disaster cannot be predicted in time, duration or intensity.

The trauma symptoms that appear also vary in every child. Some examples of trauma in post-disaster children are anxiety disorders, easy panic, acute stress to depression. If these symptoms are ignored, of course, it could adversely affect the child’s development, both physically and mentally.

The impactful trauma on children encourages the role of adults, in this case, teachers, to intervene in recovery. This is also the background for Cetta Satkaara with the BK Teacher’s House (RGBK), whose initiative it is to pursue a post-disaster trauma healing education program.

Co-Founder and Senior Advisor of PT Cetta Satkaara Ruth Andriani said that the series of disasters that have occurred in Indonesia recently brought concern and aroused a sense of humanity to help. However, unfortunately, psychological assistance is often forgotten, even though many victims still lament about prolonged psychological trauma after the disaster. “Some people focus only on physical injuries and emphasize the importance of being there when a disaster occurs. Not many people understand that there are emotional wounds, especially in children who are equally sick and need more attention to be handled,” said Ruth.

This initiative was manifested in a Psychosocial Training and Trauma Healing Webinar for Educators which took place on Saturday, April 10, 2021, virtually through the Zoom platform. This webinar was attended by 200 selected teachers at Elementary, Junior High School and High School and equivalents throughout Indonesia, and presented speakers Christina Dumaria Sirumapea M.Psi., Psychologist, Adult Clinical Psychologist and Associate Assessor in TigaGenerasi as well as Ana Susanti, M.Pd, Founder of RGBK and Widyaiswara at the Ministry of Education and Culture of the Republic of Indonesia.

One of the important topics delivered by Christina in her presentation was Psychological First Aid (PFA) for disaster victims. The woman who is familiarly called Ina explained that PFA is divided into four bases: prepare, look, listen and link.

“PFA is practical support like an emergency first-aid kit that ordinary people can use to temporarily help in handling post-disaster victims. However, the advanced stage still has to be handled by professionals, such as psychologists or doctors,” explained Ina.

The four foundations of the PFA include; Prepare, observing the security situation, symptoms, and assistance needed by the victim. The Look is an active listener approach to help victims calm down. Listen is implemented by providing access to health services, while Link  connects victims to professionals, according to their needs.

Ina added, “What needs to be underlined is not to ask details about the trauma experience, because it will trigger the victim’s memory of the experience of the disaster.”

As a partner in implementing the Psychosocial and Trauma Healing Training Webinar for Educators, RGBK Founder Dr. Marjuki, M.pd also responded positively to the enthusiasm of the teachers. He hopes that this webinar can be an initial platform to facilitate teacher development, especially in dealing with post-disaster trauma.

“The teachers are in the right assembly. Through involvement in this webinar, teachers can get many benefits about trauma healing for students in disaster areas from competent speakers. Hopefully, it can be carried out regularly so that the transfer of knowledge about trauma healing can be broader,” he said.

Improve Teachers’ Public Speaking Ability

Satkaara and RGBK also showed commitment to care for education through the “Public Speaking is Easy!” Webinar which was held on Sunday, April 11, 2021, via zoom. Public speaking is one of the abilities that must be possessed by everyone and is needed in every field of work, including by teachers.

This webinar was attended by 150 selected junior and senior high school teachers from all over Indonesia, and featured resource persons Ilham Ramdhana, Prambors Radio Broadcaster & Founder @belajarradio, and Iqbal Tawakkal, Brand Manager of Prambors Radio.

Involving Satkaara’s Friends in the Book Donation Program

Not only teachers, but Satkaara also implements concern for the world of education through the “Book Donation-Sharing Program, Sharing the Future”. For this program, Satkaara collaborates with Kargo Baca, which will distribute material to several reading parks in Jabodetabek.

This donation book raising also involved media partners as Satkaara’s main partners. There were 404 books for reading donations for children aged 5-13 years old. The handover of book donations was carried out in Kampung Buku, Jakarta, to coincide with International Book Day on Friday, April 23, 2021.

Satkaara Berbagi, which has been present since 2012, is a real implementation of the value of care and respect as Satkaara’s foundation in work and service. A program that was born from the desire of each individual in Satkaara to share. Starting from simple steps but giving meaning to life.

In its 9th event with the theme “Nine Years Of Sharing”, Satkaara Berbagi collaborates on three activities, namely, Psychosocial Training and Trauma Healing Webinar for Educators, Public Speaking is Easy! Webinar and the Book Donation-Sharing Program, Sharing the Future for better Indonesian education.