Healthcare news

Cookstown: Doctors ready with a 'compassionate and listening ear' after Greenvale Hotel tragedy

Dr Petra Corr said it would take some time for mental health symptoms to abate after witnessing such a traumatic event as a crush outside the Greenvale Hotel which claimed the lives of three teenagers
Michael McHugh, Press Association

Doctors will be watchfully waiting to help youngsters cope with the fallout from the St Patrick's Day deaths, the area's senior psychologist has said.

Hundreds of young people were present as Sunday night's crush in Cookstown unfolded.

Dr Petra Corr said it would take some time for mental health symptoms to abate after witnessing such a traumatic event.

She said: "What is most helpful is a compassionate and listening ear."

Her staff will be ready to help those who recover from symptoms such as anxiety more slowly.

More intensive intervention is not recommended by the clinical guidelines, the head of psychological services in the Northern Health and Social Care Trust said.

"The key issue is really what is known as watchful waiting, whereby we are here as a health and social care service, here and available for individuals who continue to experience difficulties.

"We are keeping an eye and offering support.

"We should see a reduction in the level of symptoms for many but for those who we don't see that reduction, the watchful waiting really comes in at that stage."

She urged the youngsters to spend time with their families and friends while the symptoms scaled down until they were able to continue as before.

The victims: 

Senior health professionals from the Northern trust attended an emergency meeting yesterday to discuss its response plan to the Greenvale Hotel tragedy.

Hosted by Mid Ulster Council, it brought together a 'myriad' of support services to plan how they could best work together to help those affected by the events of St Patrick's night in Cookstown.

Police and representatives from the Education Authority also attended. A trust spokesman said they were "acutely aware" of the need for "coordination across all of the services that are providing support to all of those involved".

The head of psychological services along with the trust's director of community care and deputy chief executive were among those who attended the meeting in Cookstown.

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On Monday, a charity providing trauma counselling reported how it had been inundated with calls from "shocked" teenagers.

Parents and some Greenvale staff members also sought face-to-face support from the JMC Counselling and Training and The Mid-Ulster Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy service.

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