“S is 31 years old. He arrived in Italy a little over a month ago, having made an exhausting journey on foot from Pakistan to Milan, via the Balkan route. To make the journey even harder, one of his feet was horribly broken and went untreated.
S lives in the province of Teramo with her parents. After the first tremor in 2016, she didn’t want to stay there alone any more. Every new tremor made her relive the terrible memory.
O has suffered from polio all her life. After the earthquake, living alone became even harder for her. ‘If there’s another big tremor, I won’t be able to escape.’
P has worked as a forester since he arrived in Italy. His wife, who he hasn’t seen in years, is ill but he cannot be with her because without the money he sends, she could not afford treatment.
The earthquakes in central Italy have left invisible wounds too. Wounds so well hidden that even the people who were there that day fail to see them. They feel them, though. S feels them every time he closes his eyes to sleep. O, living in constant anxiety, feels them. P feels them every time he speaks on the phone with his wife.
How important is it that people who have suffered the trauma of an earthquake get psychological help?
Since last February, in areas hit by the earthquake, one of our teams has been offering psychological help to those in need. Thanks also to our psychologists, P, S and O are doing better. A year on, the invisible wounds are beginning to heal.