Our expert says:
Horrible experience for everyone. I have always said tha the Government should not allow any Medical Aid NOT to provide psychiatric and psychological cover. They should check, as it may be that they would be allowed to see a psychiatrist ( who is a medical doctor ), and at least let the Medical Aid, knowing the circumstances, refuse to help, rather than assuming that they will. They should obviously also be checked physically to be sure they're OK after whatever it was they inhaled.
As Liza says, check with the Depression and Anxiety helpline. and Lifeline, who may know of some free or afordable service accessable to them. Obviously they will want attention soon, but shouldn't worry that this wasn;t immediate. Claims that have been made that "trauma or crisis debriefing" should be given as soon as possible to prevent later problems have been proved to be false, and indeed Debriefing of the sort usually sold, seems to have the potential for making things worse. But ordinary psychological counselling and care, within the first week or so, is more likely to be useful. And in the meantime, they may not suffer serious long-term effects, even though they are understandably upset and scared right now, and being free to talk IF AND WHEN they want to, to family and friends, will be the most helpful. Too often, people assume that something terribly fancy and skilled is needed, an actually withdraw from such crime victims, whereas a friendly caring response from neighbours and friends is very helpful indeed
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