Cookstown youngsters offered ‘compassionate’ support to cope after hotel crush

Doctors will be watchfully waiting to help youngsters cope with the fallout from the St Patrick’s Day deaths, the area’s senior psychologist has said.

Hundreds of young people were present as Sunday night’s crush in Cookstown unfolded.

Dr Petra Corr said it would take some time for mental health symptoms to abate after witnessing such a traumatic event.

She said: “What is most helpful is a compassionate and listening ear.”

Her staff will be ready to help those who recover from symptoms such as anxiety more slowly.

More intensive intervention is not recommended by the clinical guidelines, the head of psychological services in the Northern Health and Social Care Trust said.

“The key issue is really what is known as watchful waiting, whereby we are here as a health and social care service, here and available for individuals who continue to experience difficulties.

“We are keeping an eye and offering support.

“We should see a reduction in the level of symptoms for many but for those who we don’t see that reduction, the watchful waiting really comes in at that stage.”

She urged the youngsters to spend time with their families and friends while the symptoms scaled down until they were able to continue as before.

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