Addressing mental health issues
It is heartening to note that the divisional administration has finally launched Taskeen, a tele-counselling platform for psychological support of Covid-19 affected children. A team of psychologists and resource persons on alternate days shall provide counselling to address fear, anxiety and other mental stress related issues among the Covid-19 affected children by providing them psychological first-aid and emotional support. The team of psychological experts shall cater to children in quarantine, isolation and in Covid-care centres. The counselling shall also be given to the children who have their parents or near ones as Covid positive, besides also to those children who have lost their family members to the virus. As per the government directions the panel of experts shall also be available to all children and parents seeking psychological support though phone, audio and video calls.
Apart from making people sick and snatching their lives, the Covid-19 is also dangerously impacting the mental well being of the people. Humans are known as social animals because they live in a society; mingle with each other and; share each other’s joys and pains. But the pandemic has deprived them of the very basis that makes them human. It has forced them to live in isolation by cutting all social contacts. Audio and video calls can’t be an alternative of the human touch. The lack of human touch besides a constant fear of catching the infection and also worrying about the dear ones is turning people into psychological wrecks. Though it is happening everywhere in the world but in Kashmir it is bit more serious as the violence and conflict of past three decades has already had impacted the mental health of so many people here. While the government is doing its best to try to contain the pandemic, efforts need to be taken to take care of the peoples’ mental health too.
In this backdrop the launch of a tele-counselling platform for psychological support of Covid-19 affected children is a welcome step. Children are the worst hit of the present crisis. They can’t go to schools, see and mingle with their friends or move out to take part in different sports activities. If attention is not given to their mental well-being, the children may develop certain complications in the future. While the administration is trying to do its bit to take care of the psyche of the children, parents and other elders too have to contribute in this regard. They need to engage more and more with the children, play with them, be in their company as much as they can and not leave their children exclusively on the mercy of gadgets for playing game. As already mentioned, the violence of past three decades has had its toll on the psyche of the people here, children being no exception. The pandemic has come as yet another trigger for psychological disorders and it is thus necessary that the government as well as the civil society tries find out ways to help the people on this front.