Record Newspaper Articles: MON AMI – TRAUMA TROOPS and “Things to remember when experiencing trauma”

A couple of weeks ago a wonderful and very kind journalist of the local Pretoria newspaper Record met with me to speak on the work of my community project: Mon Ami – Trauma Troops. Andrea Küsel and I also spoke on things to remember when experiencing trauma reactions on a crisis situation. On reading the article on “Things to remember when experiencing trauma” one should always remember that we are all uniquely different as individuals and would therefore experience crisis situations distinctively different. For this reason a person should always seek professional consultation when experiencing traumatic reactions after a distressful event. Traumatic events include once off event where a person is exposed to only one traumatic incident as well as multiple trauma where a person is exposed to more than one category of distress. The symptoms and interventions required with multiple traumas might present more complex than in single traumatic experiences. Usually the starting point to seek help is your medical doctor that knows your personal circumstances, health and medical history.


If significant characteristics of the person's self and perception of the world have been violated, person’s may call in question their own identity and sense of meaning. No matter the nature of the critical event, the trauma reactions the person is presenting, there is always a human being aiming to make sense of his/her own existence. Behind every condition, diagnosis and even symptoms, there is a human being present. That person seeks to be heard, to be understood, but most of all... we all need to know that we will be okay. We need to realise that we do have control and are able to survive and re-construct ourselves, at least there must be someone unconditionally believing that I would be able to gain the inner strength and human potential to heal.


Below I present the verbatim articles as Andrea published our conversations in the Record newspaper.


Trauma-troepe staan gemeenskap by: Die Mon Ami Trauma Troops staan mense in die groter Moot-gebied by wanneer dit regtig nodig is.

Deur: Andrea Küsel



’n Slagofferbemagtigingsentrum genaamd Mon Ami – Trauma Troops wat as ’n gemeenskapsprojek by die Villieria-polisiekantoor begin is, bied nou trauma-berading regoor die groter Moot-gebied. Moni Ami is ’n nie-winsgewende organisasie wat ’n helpende hand verleen in tye van nood. Die organisasie is in 2007 met die hulp van Jacques Botes gestig, ’n berader en kapelaan wat ondersteuning bied aan mense wat trauma beleef. “Mon Ami is Frans vir ‘my vriend’,” vertel Botes.


Botes was sewe jaar lank ’n maatskaplike werker by die Stabilis-kliniek in die Moot toe Mon Ami gestig is. “Mon Ami is letterlik mense uit die gemeenskap vir die gemeenskap. Dis vrywilligers, dis mense met werke, dis mense wat hier in die gemeenskap gebly het,” sê Botes.


Botes sê hy lei die vrywilligers op in die selfde benadering wat gebruik word by UNISA, waar hy deeltyds klasgee. Hy sê die groep het van die begin af net gegroei.

“Nou is ons omtrent al in die hele Moot en nie net meer in Villieria nie. Ons werk vanaf Villieria-polisiestasie tot en met Hercules-polisiestasie,” sê Botes. Afgesien van die polisie, werk Mon Ami ook saam met verskeie nooddienste soos die brandweer en ambulansdienste.


“Ons het nou ’n groep vrywillige kapelane opgelei. ’n Kapelaan is soos ‘n predikant in die nooddienste. Die ouens is spesifiek opgelei in pastorale sorg en hulle fokus is die nooddienspersoneel.” Botes sê nooddienspersoneel benodig dikwels iemand om mee te praat ná ’n traumatiese ervaring. Verder werk Mon Ami saam met ’n ander organisasie genaamd Hospi-Vision. “Ons sien baie mense vir hulle by die trauma-eenheid van Steve Biko [akademiese hospitaal]. Dis tipies waar ’n familielid byvoorbeeld doodgaan aan ’n hartaanval of ’n motorongeluk,” sê Botes.


Die kern van die projek is om emosionele ondersteuning aan persone te verleen wat trauma beleef. Daar is tans sowat 30 vrywilligers wat hul tyd aan Mon Ami skenk om sulke mense by te staan. “Dit sluit letterlik in van predikante tot huisvroue in.” Botes sê dat ’n krisis-situasie nie trauma self is nie. “Baie mense verwys na die situasie, die geweer teen die kop, die roof in ’n bank, as trauma. Dis nie trauma nie, dis ’n krisis-situasie. Trauma is die mens se fisieke en sielkundige reaksie teenoor dit.” Vir ontlonting direk na ’n krisis skakel Mon Ami se 24 uur-nommer by 073 653 4497. Besoek ook hul webtuiste by

(Rekord, 06 May 2016:2)



Things to remember when experiencing trauma: Mon Ami Trauma Troopers offer tips to those experiencing trauma. Read more about what to do when you experience trauma.

By: Andrea Küsel



Many people will experience trauma following a crisis in their life. Rekord recently had a sit-down with Jacques Botes from Mon Ami – Trauma Troops. Botes said it was important to remember a crisis in your life is not the experience of trauma itself. “Trauma is a reaction to something bad that happened in your life. It’s a physical and psychological reaction. If someone puts a gun to your head, that is not trauma, that is a crisis. Trauma is the reaction that follows after you’ve experienced a crisis,” Botes said.


He offered the following advice for anyone suffering from trauma:

·         Realise that trauma is a normal reaction to an abnormal event in your life. You won’t always be emotionally prepared for something bad to happen in your life.

·         Become aware of your thinking patterns and emotions that is changing. This reaction is normal. When experiencing trauma your heart and head will try to make sense of what happened, it is normal for your emotions to change.

·         Never think you are crazy or stupid because of what you’re feeling or thinking. If you’re traumatised your emotions will be shuffled.

·         Take control of things you can. Do practical things to improve your situation and don’t be hard on yourself. Having thoughts like “I should have done this, or, I shouldn’t have done that,” are normal and it is okay to think that way. Concentrate on taking charge of the moment. 

·         It is normal to experience a change in appetite and mood in the period after you’ve experienced a crisis in your life. However, if these changes prolong, you should see a doctor.

·         Do things that have meaning for you. Find support from your family, friends or church community.

·         Don’t make any big choices. For example, don’t decide to emigrate and sell your house.

·         If your trauma continues for longer than two weeks, seek professional help from a professional person.


If you experience an emergency in your life and you would like someone to talk to, to debrief, feel free to contact Mon Ami’s 24-hour trauma line on 073 653 4497.


Also read the Blog “TRAUMA – A Wound To The Soul” on this website:
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