Changes in the trainees after the disaster

So did the trainees get a stronger sense of the value of their work?

Yeah, well I don’t know about work, but I think their way of thinking about life itself changed. For them I think that change was a real strength, and a significant change in their lives. They said so themselves.

Sometimes when you get sick, your relationship with society changes. Mental illnesses especially aren’t very well understood by society, and sufferers can be forced to quit their jobs because of their condition, or become isolated from their friends. They might not be able to build healthy relationships with their families, and many concerned people have very difficult experiences.

Some of them feel alienated, or become very negative thinking there’s no more hope for them because they’re sick.

But even though some of these people saw themselves negatively before, through the disaster they were able to find a role they could play in that moment and improve their self-esteem. They realized they were one step ahead just by being alive, and they were grateful.

The idea is that they were starting life from square one rather than square zero. That’s a big difference in thinking. They’ve become more positive, you could say, and have learned to value themselves more. Such realizations and changes in self-perception are something that’s difficult to bring about with our support alone.

When you come to your own realization about your existence, that belongs to you. The disaster brought on that realization.

These sorts of changes brought about by difficult experiences are an invaluable source of strength for our trainees’ future lives.