support staff who in one way or another were traumatized by the experiences of Cyclone Freddy, MLW organi sed a talk with psychologist Professor Chiwoza Bandawe on 22 March 2023 under the theme “Psychological Impact of Cyclone Freddy”.
In his speech, Professor Bandawe encouraged MLW staff to accept the situation, hope for better days and to seek mental help if needed.
He said, “The cyclone had a significant impact on the psychological well-being of those affected, with many experiencing emotional trauma. Acknowledging and expressing feelings, connecting with others, and seeking professional help can help to heal those coping with the psychological aftermath of Cyclone Freddy. I believe after this talk; individuals will begin to rebuild after the devastating impact of the cyclone.”
MLW’s Occupational Nurse Stephen Amos said the aftermath of Cyclone Freddy left multitudes depressed and anxious. He said it would be hard to expect the affected to continue with their work before addressing their psychological needs.
“We expect people to be professional even when times are rough. MLW organised this talk to empower people on ways to handle depression during this time. Many people hide their pain in fear of looking weak amongst their colleagues and sabotaging their careers. We believe that by putting up this talk we will help those that are mentally disturbed with coping mechanisms,” Amos spoke during the talk.
Cyclone Freddy hit Malawi from 13 through 17 March leaving a trail of destruction and loss of life. The cyclone not only caused physical damage to buildings and infrastructure, but it also had a significant impact on the psychological well-being of those affected.
One of the staff who was affected, Phyiona Tambula, was part of the talk. Speaking on her part, Tambula said she lost quite a few friends who were like family to her. She described this period as the most difficult time she had ever experienced.
About 150 staff attended the talk both virtually and physically.