SILCHAR, April 13 - The Central Government, the Assam Police, along with the Department of Psychiatry, Gauhati Medical College and Hospital and other associations, has opened its helpline numbers for people to seek help regarding issues with mental health during the ongoing nationwide lockdown to combat the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
In sync with the Government machinery, a group of counsellors-cum-social workers under the banner of Well Heard, a Silchar-based free online mental health service outlet has stepped up to reach out to people in this hour of national crisis.
Paulomi Chakraborty, a cognitive hypnotic coach, who came up with the idea behind the counselling service platform told The Assam Tribune recently that while counselling on mental health issues started in 2019, they have started their COVID-19 Listener link http://www.wellheard.co.in/register from March 31 and have been addressing patients since April 2 on issues related to stigma and mental health.
�We are faced with circumstances when staying indoors is compulsory to defeat the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the lockdown phase has brought about certain changes in people�s behavioural patterns. From initial reluctance to abide by the instructions to eventually accepting the call for staying homes for their own good, people have been taken over by various emotions in the past two weeks. We have received at least 15 cases so far from across the State and our team has tried to address all of those,� Paulomi said.
Further, Paulomi informed that in such a situation when things might seem difficult and lost, not just for those who are affected by the virus, but also for people including students, elderly citizens and professionals, the team of professional counsellors shall listen to the cases on anxiety, boredom and depression, keeping the confidentiality of the cases intact.
�Students who have appeared for their Class-12 exams and are anxious about their career pursuits, professionals who have come back home and are finding the situation tough to adjust have been counselled so far. We would love to help our doctors, police officials, bankers, media persons and even those on emergency duties to bring them out of stress and worries due to stringent chores at work,� the cognitive hypnotic coach maintained.