Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Calls for counselling for victims of ferry tragedy

Calls for counselling for victims of ferry tragedy

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Yim Sotheary, a psychotherapist and director of Sneha Centre. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Calls for counselling for victims of ferry tragedy

Following the ferry sinking which claimed the lives of 11 school children in Loeuk Dek district of Kandal province, psychologists have asked that relevant institutions provide counselling to the survivors, fearing the event may have traumatised them.

Yim Sotheary, director of the Sneha Centre, said that the event would have long lasting effects on the survivors and their families. They may experience insomnia, anxiety and nightmares, all of which are normal reactions to these kinds of events, so specialists should be on hand to assist them with their mental health.

“Consultations with mental health experts should be arranged as soon as possible, so they can express their emotions and understand them. If they are treated at an early stage, their trauma may be minimised,” she added.

She said that if symptoms persist for six or seven weeks, the children may develop serious mental illnesses.

“I ask that the government and civil society organisations provide assistance as soon as possible. The right thing to do is provide individual or group counselling for the survivors and family members,” Sotheary added.

Meas Sa Im, deputy head of ADHOC's Women's and Children's Rights Section, said that the incident will affect the feelings of the children because experienced it so recently, and were close to the dead.

“For the immediate time being, they will see pictures of the disaster in their heads. We know that some media outlets attempted to talk to them about what happened. The correct thing to do would be to leave them alone, and not have them replay it over and over – the victims’ interests should be above the desire of media companies to attract ratings, or views,” she said.

She said children would remain in shock for some time, and the memories were likely to remain with them into adulthood.

“Immediately after the incident, the victims should be provided with support. Parents should closely monitor their children’s emotions,” she said, adding that the authorities and NGOs should provide financial and mental health support to the victims and their families. Swimming lessons should also be offered widely.


  • Joy as Koh Ker Temple registered by UNESCO

    Cambodia's Koh Ker Temple archaeological site has been officially added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List, during the 45th session of the World Heritage Committee held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on September 17. The ancient temple, also known as Lingapura or Chok Gargyar, is located in

  • Famed US collector family return artefacts to Cambodia

    In the latest repatriation of ancient artefacts from the US, a total of 33 pieces of Khmer cultural heritage will soon return home, according to the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts. In a September 12 press statement, it said the US Attorney’s Office for the

  • Cambodia set to celebrate Koh Ker UNESCO listing

    To celebrate the inscription of the Koh Ker archaeological site on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, the Ministry of Cults and Religion has appealed to pagodas and places of worship to celebrate the achievement by ringing bells, shaking rattles and banging gongs on September 20. Venerable

  • CP denied registration documents by ministry

    The Ministry of Interior will not reissue registration documents to the Candlelight Party (CP). Following a September 21 meeting between ministry secretary of state Bun Honn and CP representatives, the ministry cited the fact that there is no relevant law which would authorise it to do

  • Ream base allegations must end, urges official

    A senior government official urges an end to the allegations and suspicions surrounding the development of Cambodia’s Ream Naval Base, now that Prime Minister Hun Manet has addressed the issue on the floor of the 78th UN General Assembly (UNGA 78). Jean-Francois Tain, a geopolitical

  • Manet touches down in Beijing for high-level meetings

    Prime Minister Hun Manet arrived in Beijing on September 14 for his first official visit to China, where he is slated to attend the 20th China-ASEAN Expo and meet other leaders including Chinese President Xi Jinping. Upon his arrival, Manet laid a wreath at the Monument