Marie’s husband, a construction worker, was working in Surigao City when the magnitude 6.7 earthquake hit the city on the night of Feb. 10, 2017. She tried calling him to check on him, but he didn’t answer.
“I was at home with our children while my husband was at work,” Marie (not her real name), 39, recalled. “I kept calling him but he never answered. Around midnight, I called the wife of his nephew who was a co-worker of his. I rushed to Caraga Regional Hospital in Surigao City to see my husband. I already knew what had happened but I still couldn’t believe it. I almost collapsed when I saw him there, lying in the morgue.”
Marie’s husband fell from the third floor of a construction site. He was rushed to the emergency room of the Caraga Regional Hospital, but he died shortly after due to internal hemorrhage. He is survived by his wife, Marie, and their three children.
To help Marie cope with her loss and to alleviate her suffering, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) gave her and her family psychosocial support, one of PRC Welfare Service’s main programs. Psychosocial support helps mitigate the impact of disasters and helps survivors cope by offering them psychological first-aid (practical assistance, such as helping them get in touch with family members), guidance, and counseling.
“We at the Red Cross, with the help of our trained social workers and volunteers, assist the immediate family members of victims in the aftermath of disasters, by helping them cope and giving them hope,” said PRC Chairman Richard Gordon. “It is in times like this that define our mission to alleviate the suffering of those who are in greatest need. We do not just provide relief assistance, we also address the psychological and social needs of individuals and families to help ease their physical and emotional pain.”
“Red Cross gave me and my children comfort during our loss,” said Marie. “They helped ease the pain and sadness through their psychosocial support.”
To date, PRC has provided psychosocial support to more than 2,000 individuals and established three welfare desks in Caraga Regional Hospital, Capitol Grounds Surigao City, and Surigao City Auditorium to provide their Psychosocial Support Program (PSP), Restoring Family Links (RFL), and Referral Service.