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Sun 7 Mar 2010 10:52 AM

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Saudi brings in therapists to deal with ‘flood phobia’

Some students have developed a fear of clouds in wake of November floods.

Saudi brings in therapists to deal with ‘flood phobia’
TERROR: Some students have developed a fear of clouds, due to the association with rain, floods and death.

Saudi authorities have stepped in to help schoolchildren still traumatised from the devastating floods that hit the Jeddah region in November last year by establishing three psychological support centres in the city.

The ministries of health and education have provided social and psychological specialists to work at three schools to help with what experts are now terming “flood phobia”, the Saudi Gazette has reported.

A senior official told the newspaper that some students had developed a fear of clouds, due to the association with rain, floods and death.

“The positive attitude training course [offered by the specialists] aims to change the thinking of students from negative to positive,” Salem Al-Towairaqy, head of the educational guidance department at Jeddah education directorate, told the paper.

Awareness and training sessions are also being offered to teachers and school staff, and specialists are visiting flood-hit families to help solve trauma problems.

“After the flood, I was really suffering psychologically from losing my sons. However, after the visit of the psychologists, I feel better as they have taught me how to deal with the trauma,” Mahmoud Ahmed, who lost two sons during the floods, told the Saudi Gazette.

“The sessions included both religious and psychological treatment, such as how to be patient, how to deal with my fate and finally how to transfer my positive attitude into future action,” he said.

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