Counselling and mentoring during COVID-19 pandemic remains an untold story which gets lost in the middle of number crunching, the number of those getting infected and the number of fatalities.
Many health workers, especially the young women who left their villages and towns for better opportunities in cities and are working in health care sector, have complained of a tremendous emotional/mental toll as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.
In a heart warming story, a start-up focussed on this aspect is helping out young migrant workers to go positive in their thinking. ‘YourDost’ an online emotional wellness platform, offered over 5000 free emotional counselling sessions during the lockdown period benefitting over 1,000 workers to go ‘positive.’ Among them 50% are young women.
“When COVID-19 was turning into full blown pandemic, many health women workers and their families back home were worried about their own health and there was anxiety and there was discouragment allround to return to their native places. But there was also need of health workers and also these health workers needed jobs to survive,” says Richa Singh, Co-founder and CEO, YourDost.
The challenge for these young women was to deal with the emotional, mental and social pressures which took a heavy toll on them.
“Many young women were calling us with all their issues and problems. Some had room rent problem, food issue, long working hours and that too in dangerous situation and concern of their families back home who were putting pressure to come back. Specifically with regards to ‘General duty assistance,’ ( health workers ) who are deployed in any part of a hospital or home care situations, these women were finding it difficult to cope up. We used to listen to them patiently and offer our advise and suggestions. And once they realised the purpose of what they were doing and why it is important for them continue for a larger good, including taking care of their own safety and health, they felt very relieved. Later, we started getting calls from the same people that they have adjusted to the situation and managing themselves very well,” explains Mukesh Kumar, Psychologist and mentor.
Reeta Nishad, who works as a General Duty Assistance in a Delhi-based hospital said, “I struggled a lot and at every step there were only problems but no solution at sight. But I had a resolve of surviving because I had come to a city to make my future. The counselling sessions I took were immensely helpful. I felt good talking and listening to the mentor’s advise.”
With COVID-19 reportedly staying for a long haul and no sight of a vaccine in the immediate future, the services of these health workers are as important and emotional counselling and mentoring is also need of the hour.