National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has recently launched a tele-counseling facility for the children. It has been done to help children affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to cope better. The tele-counseling service has been envisioned as a psychological and emotional first aid for the children who have been impacted by the pandemic. The children could be in quarantine, isolation, COVID care centers or they may have corona positive family members or even have lost a parent or member of the family to Covid-19.
The intervention has been named SAMVEDNA -- Sensitizing Action on Mental Health Vulnerability through Emotional Development and Necessary Acceptance. The service is toll-free and is directed at alleviating stress, anxiety, fear, and other psychological manifestations related to the crisis.
The logistics are simple, any child can call 18001212830, between 10 am and 1 pm, and between 3 pm and 8 pm from Monday to Saturday.
According to an NCPCR statement, a child calling on SAMVEDNA helpline will be directed to a NIMHANS- trained professional counselor who will speak to them in one of their regional languages.
The initiative is credited to NCPCR and India Co-Win Action Network (I-CAN). The aim is to provide psycho-social support by roping in qualified and trained experts, counselors, and psychologists. The training of the counselors and technical support has been provided by NIMHANS, Bangalore.
It is understandable that the children constitute the most vulnerable demographic when it comes to the psychological effects of a crisis like a pandemic and NCPCR has intervened to support the children in coping as the numbers of infection continue to rise. Children, especially the ones who have witnessed the effects of the disease closely, are prone to psychological problems including anxiety, depression, insomnia, and digestive issues.
The statement from the child rights body also mentioned that the quarantine and isolation can add to the trauma and grief of bereavement and they need support in coming to terms with the situation.
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Vinod Kakumanu heads a team of school services professionals and is an independent commentator on Indian school education scenario. Vinod has assisted school promoters establish 35+ schools besides providing ancillary services to over 1000 schools across India. He envisions a future where quality education is made available to every child of the country. The focus he places on the quality of the deliverables and customer satisfaction has made him renowned in the field of K-12 school education.