ResilienceWorks is a four-year-old Mental Health Counselling Organisation in India. They offer emotional, psychological and professional support to families and individuals. ResilienceWorks usually conducts face to face counselling and has now been providing telephone and video counselling services as part of the CovidActionCollab. The CAC Team spoke to Ms Vyoma Prasad of ResilienceWorks to learn more about their work.
What have been your key actions, initiatives and outcomes around the COVID-19 response?
- Articles – We put up articles on our website which were focused on how individuals can take care of their emotional health. These were also on how to take care of the elderly and children during the pandemic.
- Quiz – We also put up a quiz on social distancing on our website which is a fun way to learn and acquire information.
- Webinar – We also held webinars for our clients- mainly IT companies. These included a three-part series which were about – how to be productive while working at home, how to balance work and relationships and how to stay safe and healthy at home.
Initially, the pandemic was a cause for panic and anxiety for many. Not having adequate resources at home such as a good internet connection, electricity or essentials added to the stress. It was difficult to work from home without the emotional support of workgroups. People also missed their work environment and being able to interact with their colleagues. We received a lot of queries from people. These include- what would happen in the future, how to cope with newer responsibility at home and how to manage if faced with sickness.
With our support, we have seen this situation improve. People are now reporting that they are comfortable working from home. Slowly but surely, anxiety and panic levels are decreasing as people get acclimated to the situation.
What are your biggest learnings/challenges?
One of the challenges we faced was making the quick transition from face to face counselling to telephone and video counselling.
The other was that, due to panic, most people expected answers we did not have (ex: when will this end, will things be okay, etc). They were disappointed when we had no answers. To relieve our anxiety and to be able to assist our clients better, we ensured that we read up on statistics and stayed up to date on information, despite this not being our area of expertise. We also advised them to look out for official information from WHO, CDC and the national government.
Have any stories/insights emerged from the field or your work?
One assumption that we usually have is that well-read people know more about things. Our experiences have been proving otherwise. We have found that people in smaller towns and villages were better informed and were more willing to take the necessary steps and precautions. They also had a desire to know more and read more.
People often assumed we were doctors and confused our profession. They also would ask us to give them a prescription so that they could step out of the house.
The nature of anxiety has also changed during these turbulent times. People are more worried about the future and how to stay at home at all times. The lockdown causes dangerous situations for those who face violence at home. The frequency of it has increased and there is no way for them to escape it too. This is an area of the COVID-19 response that still needs to be addressed.
About the Author: Ronak Parhi is a student of CHRIST (Deemed to be University). He is currently a media intern at Swasti.