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April 17, 2020 - May 30, 2020
A dedicated line of iCALL, TISS that reaches out to those in need of psycho-social counselling to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic
iCALL, a Field Action Project of the School of Human Ecology, Tata Institute of Social Sciences and has been operating since 2012 to provide accessible, affordable and quality counseling services to individuals in distress; particularly those who belong to marginalised communities. iCALL uses the telephonic, email and chat-based mediums to offer free, confidential and anonymous counselling services, by trained professionals who provide information, emotional support and referral linkages in 10 different regional languages for over 20 + issues such as emotional distress, mental illness, academic concerns, relationship conflicts and losses, violence and abuse, gender and sexuality concerns, suicide and self-harm. iCALL also engages in other activities such as research, capacity enhancement of helping professionals, and outreach and awareness creation on mental health. What sets iCALL apart is its psychosocial approach to counseling and respect for diversity and intersectionality.
About Dedicated COVID Helpline - 9152987820
This iCALL helpline is dedicated to addressing the psycho-social impact of COVID-19 pandemic. This pandemic presents not only a threat to physical health/life, but also impacts the psycho-social lives of individuals, the effects of which can also be seen a long time after the outbreak has ended. The necessary course of action pertaining to containment strategies, also has psycho-social consequences such as increase in anxiety and uncertainty about future, loneliness, disruption of life plans, estrangement from family/loved ones, restrictions in movement and freedom, and loss of livelihoods of people. This impact is particularly severe for marginalised and vulnerable groups such as women, survivors of abuse and violence, elderly, migrants, persons living with disability and also individuals with diverse gender and sexual expressions. The service will consciously attempt to reach out to these groups to address the unique challenges faced by them in these difficult times. The service is an important attempt to demonstrate how social, practical and psychological aspects of COVID-19 pandemic can be addressed in an integrated fashion.
Who can avail of these services?
Any individual, experiencing psycho-social distress can avail of these services. This distress could be related to difficult or negative emotions (sadness, anxiety, loneliness, boredom, anger, uncertainty, hopelessness or helplessness) and thoughts (thoughts about contracting Corona virus, losing loved ones, worries about future, suicidal thoughts) you are experiencing. It could also be related to the challenging circumstances that you must be confronting (lock down, being separated from the loved ones, shortage of food, loss of shelter, difficulties in reaching home, loss of livelihood, violence and abuse etc). In times of the COVID-19 pandemic, all of us are facing new challenges that may tax our resources and ways of coping. Hence anyone, who experiences distress and needs support, can call us. This service is available to people across different ages, genders, sexualities (and other social locations).
How can you contact us?
Launches on: 17th April 2020 (Friday); 10:00 am
Number of the helpline: 9152987820
Timing: Mon-Saturday 10m to 6:00 pm
Languages Available:English, Hindi, Marathi, Malyalam, Gujarati, Tamil
What help will you get?
This psycho-social service aims to assist individuals and communities by providing the following:
- Emotional support and a safe space for addressing your emotional distress
- Reliable Information related to COVID-19 pandemic and resultant consequences to health,
livelihood, food, transportation and other areas of life
- Linkages to appropriate referrals, resources and services
Who will answer your calls?
Your call will be answered by a team of professionals who are specially trained to address psych-social concerns related to COVID-19 pandemic. The team will provide support in a confidential and anonymous manner. The team will also link you to relevant resources and referrals.
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