Yesterday was a day of national mourning in Belgium because of a tragic bus accident in Switzerland on Tuesday night. A bus with primary school children and their teachers, returning from a ski trip, had crashed into a tunnel wall near Sion. It caused the loss of 22 children and six adults. All other occupants (24 children) were injured.
It feels needless to say that this accident has a dramatic impact on the Belgian community, including the survivors, their families, their classmates, teachers, neighbors, involved professionals, and fellow citizens. The contrast between the children’s cheerful experiences during a week of skiing and the sudden devastation of lives couldn’t be more pronounced.
Erik de Soir, a Belgian crisis psychologist, provided support to the parents and teachers of the children from the moment the news reached one of the two schools involved. In an interview on the Dutch television on Thursday, he told about his experiences and the strategies for psychological support in the direct aftermath of mass trauma, in line with the current scientific evidence. I was very impressed with the genuine way he described his work and his views. Continue reading