Psychological Trauma For Indonesia Volcano Victims

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More on the effects of the deadly volcano in Indonesia....Refugees fleeing their homes near the Mount Merapi volcano are feeling the stress, as psychiatric hospitals in the region are reporting an increase in patients. Lets take a closer look.

A walk around the grounds of an Indonesian mental hospital helps bring a moment of calm.

This facility in Central Java reports an increase of patients -- nearly 100 -- since nearby Mount Merapi volcano began erupting two weeks ago.

The eruptions have killed over 200 people, and displaced more than three hundred thousand.

But Mount Merapi has also exacted an invisible toll on many others.

These patients suffer from mental illnesses related to trauma, and the losses of family and property.

Relaxation therapy is just one of the ways patients learn to cope.

[Sarah, Volcano Evacuee]
"Sometimes I feel better, but sometimes I still feel the pain."

Meanwhile, as the volcano's ash clouds dissipate, evacuees begin returning home -- despite government warnings that certain areas remain unsafe.

Many residents said they just wished to check on damaged homes, and would return to the shelters.

For now volcanologists say an exclusion zone must remain in place 20km around the mountain's summit.