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Counselors expand their support for children in times of Covid | India News

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NEW DELHI: From fear of recovering in isolation to seeking help to cope with behavioral issues such as aggression, various concerns affecting children affected by Covid-19 have been shared in 742 calls with counselors since September, when it opened a tele-counseling psychological first aid center. first launched by the National Commission for the Protection of Children’s Rights (NCPCR).
While calls in the past two to three months have been fewer and mainly due to anxiety around test schedules, the second wave of cases has refocused the children’s health and mental well-being. Called SAMVEDNA (Awareness Action on Mental Health Vulnerability through Emotional Development and Necessary Acceptance), the free tele-counseling service (1800-121-2830) is served by a network of qualified experts, counselors and psychologists .
The facility aims to provide emotional support to children who are in quarantine, isolation, or in Covid care centers. Children whose parents or relatives are infected and those who have lost their parents to the virus are also a focus group.
Amid an increase in cases, the NCPCR has written to state authorities asking them to re-circulate information about tele-counseling facilities at Covid care centers and isolation facilities and to sensitize staff, doctors and workers from front line so children can be guided to seek expert help at the toll-free number.
NCPCR Chief Priyank Kanoongo said: “The current wave is hitting us all and unlike last year it is also affecting children. Children can experience a variety of psychological problems such as anxiety, fear, depression, trouble sleeping, and loss of appetite. Quarantine and isolation can also cause acute stress disorders, trauma and pain in many children. ”
Tele-counseling data shows that the impact of the pandemic on daily educational routine and examinations has been a major cause of concern among children and their parents. While between October and November, callers incubated children directly affected by Covid, between March 1 and April 15, most of the 76 interventions made by counselors were related to concerns related to the hours of the exams.
Later last year, the children reported various concerns. In one case, a 6-year-old boy housed in isolation at a care facility in Kanpur displayed aggressive behavior. The counselors cited this as a sign of loneliness the boy was experiencing. In another case, a 17-year-old boy who was isolated in a care facility in Madhya Pradesh called to say he was afraid of being alone. In another case, a 15-year-old girl housed in isolation at a care facility in Aurangabad shared her frustration at not receiving enough love from her parents. In this case, both the girl and her parents were advised.
Times View: Children living in foster homes are extremely vulnerable in a number of ways. In these times of pandemic, they must be protected and, if necessary, receive appropriate treatment and care. NCPCR is correct to seek information on them.

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