Expert seeks trauma relief for girls’ parents, community
A psychologist and Director of Counselling Centre of the Covenant University, Dr. Kunle Oyeyemi, has urged the Federal and Borno State governments to assist the residents of Chibok, Borno State, especially the parents of the schoolgirls abducted by the Boko Haram insurgents to overcome their trauma.
Speaking with The Nation at the weekend in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, Dr Oyeyemi hoped that the girls would soon be released because of the pressure from all over the world.
The academic said the parents and other residents of Chibok community needed psychotherapist intervention to stabilise their minds ahead of the eventual release of their loved ones.
He said efforts to rescue the girls and the clinical support for their parents and other members of the community should be done side by side.
According to him, the girls’ families and the Chibok community are functioning below their capacity because of the traumatic effects of their experiences and emotions.
Dr Oyeyemi said the girls’ parents and other Chibok residents needed to be empowered to support the pupils emotionally when they eventually gain their freedom from the insurgents.
He said: “These girls, when they are back, may be exhibiting some traits which their parents, if not helped now to identify, understand and look for solutions, will find difficult to handle. So, the family and the community support system must be in tune with the problems that can be associated with these traits.
“How do they help when they too have not received any help ahead of their daughters?
“The parents and members of the Chibok community themselves are patients too needing urgent help. So, both the Borno State and the Federal Government need to provide a help for them in a psycho-educational setting in groups which may be classified in gender, age, street or ward arrangement or in whatever form they deem it fit. This provision will help them to know what to look for in the girls when they return and be able to help them accordingly.”
Dr Oyeyemi said many of the girls’ parents would still be grieving and become vulnerable because of what they are thinking.
The academic said this might make them feel responsible for their daughters’ predicaments based on their last interactions before their abduction.
He said the parents might be suffering from intense anxiety, personality damage and depression.
These, the expert said, would not let them think right any more, much less of preparing themselves to be in a position of help for their daughters.
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