Hong Kong Red Cross experts: providing support for the practice storm to alleviate the feeling of powerlessness

 Hong Kong Red Cross experts: providing support for the practice storm to alleviate the feeling of powerlessness

Zhang Zhiqiao, a clinical psychologist at the Hong Kong Red Cross, is providing psychological assistance.

At Longhai Court Road, West Kowloon, Hong Kong, the Red Cross building is brightly lit in the night. In an office on the third floor, there is a ring from time to time. Zhang Zhiqiao, a clinical psychologist, picked up the phone. Sometimes there was a voice, sometimes it was a silence; sometimes it was quiet, sometimes it was accompanied by crying. These calls are from those affected by the practice.

Since June 2019, many Hong Kong citizens have been trapped in helpless and despairing mood due to constant social conflicts. To this end, since June 12 last year, the Hong Kong Red Cross Society has set up a psychological support service for the practice storm. Clinical psychologists and volunteers have formed a team to help the people whose emotions are affected. By the end of 2019, a total of 1533 people had been assisted.

The following is a dialogue between the reporter of Beijing News and Liu Bing, Deputy Secretary General of Hong Kong Red Cross Society, and Zhang Zhiqiao, clinical psychologist of Hong Kong Red Cross Society:

neutral principles

Beijing News: why should we provide psychological support for the practice storm?

Liu Bing: the Hong Kong Red Cross is a humanitarian organization. In the event of an emergency in Hong Kong or outside Hong Kong, we will participate in the process of disaster relief or aftermath according to our needs and capabilities. Since June last year, there has been unrest in Hong Kong. Some people have suffered psychological or physical injuries. In such an environment, we should actively respond to the needs of the whole society by providing immediate on-site first aid and psychological support in different forms.

Beijing News: what are the main forms of psychological support?

Liu Bing: since June 12 last year, we have opened a special psychological consultation hotline for the practice disturbance. Anyone can call in or use social software to make an appointment with us. In addition, we will go directly to the scene for psychological support services at the invitation of some groups.

Beijing News: can you introduce the composition of psychological support team?

Zhang Zhiqiao: our team has 3 clinical psychologists, 15 professional volunteers, and 225 psychological first aiders who have passed the standard training.

Beijing News: in psychological support service, how to exclude personal position and help the other party objectively?

Liu Bing: I have been a member of the Red Cross Society for nearly 20 years. The first training is about the principle of neutrality. Neutrality doesnt mean that we dont have a position, but that we dont express our personal position in public on controversial issues, and we dont consider the positions held by service applicants, so that we can serve people from different backgrounds.

Zhang Zhiqiao: we will not ask the background information of the recipient, nor can we see the phone number.

Beijing News: if the other side asks you what position you take, how to answer?

Zhang Zhiqiao: we do receive a lot of such inquiries. In such a big environment, we would like to talk to people of the same position. But what the Red Cross provides is neutral service. We will say that we are more concerned about the impact of the incident on you. No matter what your political position is, we can continue to talk.

Liu Bing, Deputy Secretary General of the Hong Kong Red Cross.

1533 times of psychological assistance

Beijing News: what is your working condition?

Zhang Zhiqiao: in general, after every major incident, there will be many calls the next day. On average, we make a phone call for half an hour, the longest is two hours. I remember that on July 22 last year, there were a lot of calls. Some housewives said they were afraid to go out because of the serious violence in Yuen Long the day before. A middle-aged lady cried and said that she was worried about her childs future. I will tell her that we have no definite answer for the future, but we can see what we can do now, such as how to improve communication with children.

Beijing News: what are the helpers?

Zhang Zhiqiao: from June to the end of December last year, the total number of people assisted was 1533, which was available for all ages, including police, journalists and demonstrators.

Beijing News: do you have any impressive help?

Zhang Zhiqiao: a mother called for help. Her 5-year-old daughter woke up in the middle of the night with a nightmare because she saw the bloody demonstration on TV. She would cry in fear.

We brought the little girl here. When the little girl saw a stranger, it was difficult to express her feelings directly. So we used the doll to help her to express her emotions. Psychologist said, Hello, my name is mingzai. Im afraid of reading some news recently. Do you have any similar situation? The little girl would say, yes..

When communicating with children, we usually keep the line of sight at the same level. If she sits, we will sit down. In this way, let her relax and express her emotions. We will also tell her that she can choose. If she doesnt want to watch the news, she can change channels. After consulting once, the little girls mood improved. Later, she didnt ask us again. If the situation doesnt improve, we will follow up for many times.

Beijing News: are there any more extreme mood seekers?

Zhang Zhiqiao: one afternoon at the end of June last year, a middle-aged man in Jiulong district called and said he wanted to commit suicide. He was standing by the road ready to rush in.

This man is suffering from depression. After the practice storm, he saw the confrontation and conflict scene in the news and saw that someone killed himself. His mood was greatly affected and he felt very unhappy.

Lets try to tell him that its hard to know you. Lets meet and see if we can help you. I think he would like someone to help him when he calls. More than an hour later, he came to our headquarters, and Im glad that he was willing to take this step.

First, we will provide a space to accept his emotions and straighten out his feelings and thoughts. If they say they are unhappy in the near future, we wont say, dont think so, many things can be solved. This is actually negating his emotions.

We let him know that in such a social environment, feeling angry, sad and sad is a common acceptable emotion, and he does not need to feel that he has problems. Leaning forward and making eye contact can show that we are accepting him.

Later, we met and talked four times. We tried to help him find out the fun and happy things in life. His mood was much better than before.

Beijing News: are there any students coming for help?

Zhang Zhiqiao: I once met a middle school student who came to Hong Kong from the mainland when I was on the scene of first aid in the new territories. He said that after the school started in September last year, a good friend broke up with him because they had different ideas. The other side didnt communicate well with him, but directly became a stranger, which made him very sad.

Beijing News: would you suggest that he go to that good friend for a chat?

Zhang Zhiqiao: psychological support is not to help him make a choice, but to walk with him, talk about some directions he can try, and finally make his own decision. Finally, he decided to wait for this time to pass and find other friends to share his ideas.

The Hong Kong Red Cross psychological support team is answering the phone and providing psychological support services.

Everyone should learn to manage their emotions

Beijing News: what are the common features of the helpers from different positions?

Zhang Zhiqiao: during this period, for many Hong Kong people, no matter what their position and background, they are actually hard-working. Their lives and interpersonal relationships are affected. After social events, people may not be able to share their feelings with people around them. Many people feel powerless, despairing, sad, angry, or they feel useless. These reactions are common.

Beijing News: will you be affected by these emotions?

Zhang Zhiqiao: like many Hong Kong people, I feel sad when I see news reports. Sometimes I feel powerless. I dont know how things will develop. Fortunately, because of my work, I will be more happy that I can help others and relieve my powerlessness.

Beijing News: everyone tells you, how do you deal with your emotions?

Zhang Zhiqiao: we will take care of ourselves every day. I will take a special holiday to go to a good restaurant, travel and chat with friends about my ideas. The support between people is very important.

Beijing News: whats your deepest feeling in this half year?

Liu Bing: Hong Kong society has experienced more than six months of turbulence. The environment has changed. People need to adapt to the current social situation with a new mentality. Each of us should learn to manage our emotions so that we can help ourselves and others.

Zhang Zhiqiao: like most people in Hong Kong, I dont know how long the practice will last, or how it will end. But because of this, I need to take good care of myself. When I need it, I need to find someone I trust around to talk with, or find some space where I can rest.

Beijing News: do you have any new year wishes?

Liu Bing: I hope you can think more about the social situation in Hong Kong from the perspective of people, and think more about other people when dealing with affairs, and people to people.

(function() {(window. Slotbydup = window. Slotbydup| []). Push ({ID: u5811557, container: ssp_, async: true});}) ()); source of this paper: peeling onion people responsibility editor: Li Chao