Tele-counselling service launched by Sindh govt

Aims to help people cope with psychological impact of pandemic


​ Our Correspondent April 26, 2020
A Reuters representational image.

KARACHI: The Sindh government has launched a tele-counselling service for confirmed and suspected Covid-19 patients to help them cope with the psychological impact of coronavirus pandemic.

At a launching ceremony, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah dialed the helpline, which can be reached at 1093. The service, which has been initiated by the Sindh local government department with the support of the health department, United Nations Development Programme and the United Nations Childrens Fund, is also available through the website covidpss.pk and a mobile app.

In a statement on Saturday, Sindh Local Government Minister Nasir Hussain Shah said 25 psychiatrists and psychological experts have been hired to provide counselling to people facing mental health challenges while living in self-isolation or at quarantine centres.

The CM said it is the duty of the government to help the sensitive people ward off their fears and anxiety during the treatment of the deadly virus. "This situation has left adverse effects on human psyche, therefore counselling by experts would be of great help," he said.

The LG minister said the service would help around 100,000 men, women and children, who would be assisted by the psychiatrists as well as volunteer counselors.

According to mental health experts, the stress caused by coronavirus pandemic can lead to the manifestation of anxiety disorders such as panic disorder, generalised anxiety disorder and phobias.

They also believe that people genetically inclined towards anxiety may be at higher risk than the general population.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 26th, 2020.

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