It was more than a year ago that Delhi based SNEHI foundation launched a helpline specifically for mental health challenges faced by people during COVID 19 pandemic. The founder of this organisation, Abdul Mabood, has confirmed that there has been a steep rise in the number of people calling this helpline. He said, “There has been a rise in people inflicted with helplessness, acute anxiety, panic, grief and guilt, and post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD) as they struggle to come to terms with the disaster.” The organisation employs 7 trained staff who handle around 40 calls every day on average.

Other organisations that work with mental health issues are also reporting rising number of calls in the last one year. It is not surprising that people struggle with mental health issues these days. Just watching news everyday can be disturbing for anyone. Losing a job, losing a loved one, losing social contact etc are all reasons why people end up feeling lonely, anxious and helpless. Reading stories of countless people who lost their loved ones to the pandemic can also make one anxious and sad. Pictures of dead bodies that are flooding the media can drive anyone insane. The media has been irresponsible in their reporting, for sure. But what can you do to make sure your family and friends stay safe and healthy? Keep in touch with all your loved ones. Call family and friends regularly. Even a 10 minute chat with a loved one is enough to perk up the spirits of a grieving person. You can neither visit anyone, nor help in other ways. The only help you can provide to loved ones is by giving them your time and attention by calling them regularly and asking about their well-being.

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