Published on: March 23, 2021

Jimmy Das, Counselling Psychologist, writes:

Our life is not a bed of roses. Some days are full of joy and happiness while other days prick us with thorns of anger, sadness, confusion. But no matter what emerges, the journey of life continues irrespective of our emotions.

Covid-19 has been a stark reminder of long-lasting inequities in our society, and the losses have altered people’s lives in enormous ways. Unfortunately the real impact will remain in many households.

Apart from medical professionals, mental health professionals have also played an important role in helping people cope with their losses, enabling them to overcome different kinds of psychological distress.

I was lucky enough to be a part of the Sukh-dukh helpline programme, initiated by Pallium India in collaboration with MIND India, Caregiver Saathi and EdJackLegs, in October 2020 to provide emotional support from trained and experienced counselors to those who suffering from grief and bereavement. This wonderful programme is a free tele-counselling service in eight different languages reaching people in different parts of the country.

When we began the service I wondered how people would respond, and initially the beneficiaries did express a few doubts. Thanks to the dextrous and sensitive handling of cases by the volunteer counselors we began to overcome challenges such as trust issues (being a tele-counselling format) and network issues. Consoling clients over the phone as they had emotional breakdowns was difficult at times because of the physical distance, but our counselors persevered, and when I came across the feedback from the beneficiaries, it was overwhelmingly positive. That, in turn, motivated all of us and reminded us that creating a ray of hope and positivity in someone’s life is not an easy task, but something that is worth doing, no matter what the challenges.

Sukh-Dukh Helpline (SDH) is a platform that offers Psychological First Aid as well as grief and bereavement counselling to affected persons across India to cope with the losses experienced in the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sukh Dukh Helpline:

Click here to know more.

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