Helplines: Warriors at the forefront

Helplines: Warriors at the forefront

by Monarose Sheila Pereira June 17 2021, 12:05 am Estimated Reading Time: 4 mins, 39 secs

Professionals talk to Monarose Sheila Pereira, about the importance of emotional distress helplines. 

Doctors, frontline workers and people in general are going through a harrowing time due to the ongoing pandemic. Mental health is being challenged. Therefore the various pan India helplines introduced to guide and counsel people who are emotionally distressed are a boon. These helplines are sure to unburden the emotionally distressed. Please do not hesitate to call them if you need help. De-stressing will help you be more productive at work and at home.   

Dr. Nirmala Rao, Director Aavishkar Centre for Self Enrichment 

With social distancing norms and health, hygiene and safety standards, clinic practice will certainly change. Working hours and patterns would need to be modified to accommodate more people. Online follow-up consultations may be used to facilitate following safety norms. We would have to move to a 'strictly by appointment', mode of seeing patients to avoid crowding. We have started the helpline to help those who are emotionally distressed, in about 10 languages, pan India. The helpline is to help frontline workers and people handle emotional stress. 

Jothikumar Arunachakam, DGM, Sheild Health Care, BRIOBLISS 

We believe in supporting legends like Dr. Nirmala Rao. We have been doing school programs, lots of scientific webinars etc. Moreover, Dr. Rao is working for a great cause of helping COVID warriors; so it gives more satisfaction to support her and her cause. 

Dr. Madhav Thombre, GP 

With the COVID pandemic for a year and a half we have read so much about how people are depressed, anxious over their illness, job loss, financial insecurity etc. But has anyone thought about the stress, the fatigue and anxiety among the doctors, nurses and those who take care of the COVID patients? Yes, this pandemic has caused a lot of problems to the ones who have selflessly served the populace. Friends, we doctors and nurses, and paramedical staff, are just as human like you. Scores of us have silently borne anxiety while working. Stress of contracting the disease, overwork, fatigue and a feeling of helplessness plagues healthcare workers. In this situation teams of volunteers have come forward to help. These are good initiatives and I thank these volunteers. Dr. Rao's team will speak with us in our mother tongue - almost 10 languages! These initiatives will help healthcare workers to talk about their problems and be assured of getting a sympathetic and quick response, thus enabling them to address their mental health issues in these troubled times. Kudos to the teams! We feel glad to note that they are helping us and acknowledge our struggle against COVID. 

Dr Rajiv Kovil, Dr Kovils Diabetes Care Centres 

The pandemic has exposed the psychological framework of all healthcare workers. Never before have we been exposed to so much morbidity and mortality over a prolonged period in close friends, relatives and patients. It will have a huge impact on our thought process. These unique efforts to take care of the mental health of healthcare workers will go a long way. Stress wreaks havoc on your emotional equilibrium, as well as your physical health. It narrows your ability to think clearly, function effectively, and enjoy life. It may seem like there’s nothing you can do about it. Effective stress management helps you break the hold it has on your life, so you can be happier, healthier, and more productive. I hope a lot of us take advantage of this and prevent emotional burnout. 

Dr. Vignesh Naik, BHMS (AYUSH) - North District Hospital, GOA 

There is a huge amount of stress, which we medical professionals are dealing with in this pandemic. It is very difficult to share this with our family members, as it may worry them about us. They will react in a possessive way. So we don't usually share those things with them. But today these helplines have come forward with very great initiatives for all the medical professionals. They have introduced these helplines on which we can call and share our problems or stressful thoughts with them. I really appreciate their efforts and care towards us. 

Mukesh Batra, Founder, Chairman emeritus, Dr. Batra’s Healthcare 

COVID warriors have worn the brunt of being at the front line during this pandemic. Long working hours, uncomfortable PPE uniforms and the emotional trauma of seeing their patients dying before their eyes - a feeling of helplessness has affected many of them emotionally. Caring for them through helplines is a great initiative to help frontline workers. It’s a great support group of volunteers to help those who have supported us unflinchingly during COVID. It’s about time they get our care and support.

Prachi Dubale, PR Manager 

My father being a policeman, I know how stressful it has been during this pandemic. Policemen like my father, were working long hours through the lockdown, helped send migrant workers home and had to ensure that curfew and lockdown guidelines were followed. While he was performing his duties selflessly, there was also fear of us, his family, being affected by COVID-19 through him whenever he arrived home. Policemen are human too. The constant fear of acquiring the virus and also the potential of him carrying it home to the family certainly led to bottled up emotions, helplessness and frustration. I am sure my father may not be comfortable expressing such feelings with the family. In such instances, the helplines can be of great impact and provide the much needed guidance and assurance.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The writers are solely responsible for any claims arising out of the contents of this article.