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YMCA group helping kids cope with Sandy memories

April 8, 2013 1:54:40 PM PDT
Counselors from the YMCA of greater New York help local students cope with the post traumatic stress of Superstorm Sandy.

Yellow means It's not too scary, green would mean it's not scary at all

Kids at PS 39 and PS 52 on Staten Island are part of a new 12 week program. Counselors from the YMCA of greater New York help them cope with the post traumatic stress of Superstorm Sandy.

"There's a lot of anxiety both in relation to what they've seen and witnessed themselves but also there's secondary trauma so a lot of kids are talking about what they've seen," said Jacqueline Fiore, Director at YMCA Counseling Service.

Funded by Americares, they're also training counselors and doctors in other hard hit areas.

"We think it's really important that we support interventions that help give children the tools they need to deal with those feelings so they don't become longer term issues," said Garrett Ingoglia.

Rima Vishnevsky is the mother of two sons, 7 and 8 years old.

"We showed them water in the basement there was still waist high water they saw that and they were afraid to go home," she said.

And now months later they're still asking if they can move.

"My younger son tells me is the hurricane going to come on October 29th again," she adds.

It's thought that about a quarter of all children directly impacted by a trauma still have symptoms months later "Some kids may be fearful to go to school some kids may have nightmares in the middle of the night. Some families and some kids are gonna need extra help- being able to reach out and ask for help is the biggest thing I could recommend," adds Fiore.

LINK: Whttp://www.ymcanyc.org/counseling

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