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Trauma Counselling In Australia After Terrorism

State Government's in Australia are sending circulars to all schools to help staff deal with children distressed over the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. Maree Howard reports.

Destruction of the World Trade Centre and the attack on the Pentagon might have been on the other side of the world but Australian children - like many adults - are scared it could lead to an all-out global conflict.

Education and Child and Youth Health Departments are receiving phone calls from parents wanting to know what to tell their children. Trauma counselling services have also been busy.

Education Department chief executive, Helga Kolbe, said schools had a strong commitment to providing safe, secure environments and to ensure distressing events were discussed or portrayed to children in an appropriate manner.

Child and Youth Health parenting adviser, Pam Linke, said parents were phoning the Parent Helpline for advice. " Children can be affected by what they see on TV and they think it could happen to them," she said.

There is also concern in Australia that adults and students are thinking negatively towards people of Middle-East descent because of broadcast allegations over those presumed to be responsible for the terrorist attack.

A school bus full of ethnic children has already been stoned.

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