Kerala

DYFI offers emotional support at the time of COVID-19

Free online counselling system to overcome post-COVID-19 trauma

With the COVID-19 outbreak bringing in its trail a trauma triggered by isolation, job loss, financial insecurity and the fear of contracting the infection, a free online counselling system put in place to offer emotional support to the quarantined has proved to be a great succour.

The Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) State committee has empanelled three psychologists and a research associate in cognitive science and they are rendering free service to scores of callers reaching out for emotional support.

According to DYFI State secretary A.A. Rahim, “the idea ofr opening the counselling system germinated from the telephone calls that we received seeking clarifications about the impact of the virus spread and how it would endanger their life and career. Soon we elicited the support of three psychologists and a researcher in cognitive science and they started attending distress calls from their residences.”

Major fears

The system took off well and spurt in the number of quarantined has increased the number of calls too. According to one of the panellists, Baby Ziliya, a research associate in cognitive science at IIT, Gandhinagar, most of the callers are concerned about post-COVID-19 situation and whether they would be left unemployed and in abject penury.

She attends the calls from her residence in Kozhikode. “I suggest relaxation techniques that would ease their tension and motivate them to focus on today rather than brooding about the future. The best option to support the quarantined is to advice them to focus on their skills and pursue their hobbies, be it painting, music or reading,” says Ms. Baby.

Than remaining idle the callers are being persuaded to prepare a routine and apportion a day for various activities that would engage them till going to bed.

Information overload

She also warns against an information overload and recommends the quarantined to fix a time to watch new bulletins than monitoring them frequently. “Those on observation should consciously avoid an information overload and desist from fetching more from social media. The reliance on the social media should be only for entertainment and one should depend on the legacy media for all information regarding the virus outbreak and the disease,” she says.

Strict observance

Strict observance of the schedule has been recommended to all those in quarantine.

Mr. Rahim says the DYFI State centre is attending to requests for books and other essentials and it would continue till the State overcomes the crisis.

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Printable version | Apr 5, 2020 8:04:34 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/a-helping-hand-to-offer-emotional-support/article31164173.ece

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