WENZHOU, Zhejiang - Injured passengers and families of the victims of Saturday's train disaster showed intense emotional responses after the crash, according to mental health experts who launched a psychological crisis intervention program in Wenzhou.
The program aims to repair the psychological harm suffered by the injured passengers and their families, families of victims, and rescuers involved in the tragedy.
Since Sunday, as many as 58 professional counselors have conducted more than 100 counseling sessions in 10 hospitals and funeral homes, according to the health bureau of Zhejiang province.
The Lucheng district of Wenzhou has also dispatched 57 groups of workers to comfort victims' families.
Several injured passengers showed great anger and rage after the accident, according to Xu Fangzhong, a member of the mental health expert team, who also offered counseling for survivors of the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake.
He said some victims' families seemed quite calm and never even shed tears when they were informed that their loved ones were killed in the accident.
"They may feel too depressed to show their sadness, believing that there's nothing left in the world that they will care for," said Xu.
For such people, long-term interventions were needed to convince them that there was still something to care for and to live for, said Xu.
Some passengers and families of the victims showed resistance to psychological crisis intervention, according to Zhou Lin, doctor of the Wenzhou No 3 People's Hospital.
A passenger who traveled with his three colleagues on the train survived alone and was sunk in sorrow.
"He just shut the door and refused to meet anyone because of anger and sadness," said Zhou.
Experts said they will wait and that it is essential to build up trust between counselors and patients.
Passengers who survived said they had serious flashbacks and could not sleep soundly during the night.
A survivor surnamed Zhao said he experienced terrible flashbacks and felt worse on Tuesday than previous days.
Zhao was a tough-minded person who climbed out of a broken window in a damaged carriage after the crash - even though he suffered bone fractures. He told the rescuers to save other passengers first, according to Zhou.
Almost all the patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) have not been offered counseling so far.
"For patients in the ICU, the primary goal at present is to save their lives, and we will start counseling when their physical conditions are ready," said Xu.