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Close to two lakh given online counselling


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Thiruvananthapuram: With Covid-19 striking hard across Kerala, the state Mental Health Authority has stepped up its psycho-social support programme and by now they have given online counselling to 1.81 lakh people.

Those who received this counselling included many in quarantine and in isolation, besides health professionals too.

P.S. Kiran, State nodal officer, Mental Health programme, said the psychological issues to which these people are vulnerable include stress, anxiety, stigma, social needs and sleep impairment.

"About 74,463 follow up calls were made for those with these issues," said Kiran.

They have also launched a psycho-social helpline for providing counselling and other psychological supports to healthcare professionals, including doctors and nurses.

"The common mental traumas being faced by medical professionals, especially the frontline staff, are stress and anxiety. Most of the healthcare employees, engaged in COVID-19 related work, are staying away from their families and some of them are in quarantine also. We call them through the helpline and provide counselling and assistance," said Kiran.

"Officials from various departments are also going through mental health issues like stress during the lockdown period. So we are extending this support to other departments also," said Kiran.

Psycho Social Support Teams have been constituted in all the 14 districts in the state and it includes 1058 people which include psychiatrists, psychiatric social workers, clinical psychologists, social workers and counsellors.

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