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As deadly Italy earthquake toll mounts, Save the Children warns of psychological trauma for children

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Hundreds of children living in the three municipalities and surrounding areas affected by today’s deadly 6.2 magnitude earthquake in Italy will require immediate psychological support to deal with the trauma they have experienced, Save the Children is warning

“It is also important for children to be away from their televisions, so they aren’t re-traumatised by images of the disaster,” said Valerio Neri, CEO of Save the Children in Italy.

"We are deeply saddened over the loss of life, which reportedly includes two children. Our thoughts go out to the victims and their families during this time,” said Neri. “We are doing everything possible to reach the affected areas as soon as possible and to help affected children and their families.”

The aid organisation, in coordination with the Italian Civil Protection from Lazio Region, will be launching a response in Amatrice tomorrow, setting up a child-friendly space, a safe and protected environment where children and young people can receive support from trained staff and participate in various activities. This will allow them to play, socialise, learn, and express themselves as they recover from trauma.

"Children are the most vulnerable during emergencies and the impact of such events on their psyche is especially traumatic, as we saw in the aftermath of earthquakes in Emilia-Romagna and in L'Aquila, in 2012 and 2009, respectively."

“Our safe spaces will help children deal with the traumatic experience they’ve been through and provide them with a sense of normality.”

Save the Children responds to emergencies around the world, including national emergencies in Italy, such as in the aftermath of the Emilia-Romagna and L'Aquila earthquakes.