Psychological support service for free in South America
Friendly Ear project gathers volunteer therapists to offer emotional help in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
South American Division (SAD)
[South America] The initiative, "Friendly Ear," brings psychological relief to people in South America who suffer due to the situation caused by COVID-19.
Aiming to give attention to the longing of those directly or indirectly affected by the pandemic of the new coronavirus, the Friendly Ear project has been created. It gathers psychological professionals of eight countries of South America. The initiative, led by the Women’s Ministries of the Adventist Church, have no cost to whoever needs it and had attended more than 16,000 people during the first month of the quarantine.
To keep up with the demand, 673 Adventist professionals in the psychology field made themselves available to carry out the sessions. Only in Brazil, there are 430 volunteers. The sessions are held exclusively by digital means, observing the social distancing guidelines.
Because it is an initiative of international proportions, each region carries out the sessions in their specific ways. For example, for those who live in the South of Brazil, a website was created to centralize the requests of service. As for the people in the northeastern region, a WhatsApp number is the channel for the scheduling of sessions.
Other platforms of online services, that were already working before the pandemic, also joined the project. One of them is Psyson, that gathers professional Christians from several parts of the world. The psychologist Lislei Campitelli is part of this team and she said that people are more frightened and anxious than normal.
“They are having a hard time to deal with the fact of not knowing when life is going back to “normal” and, mainly, with the adaptation to a new routine. For me, it’s been a blessing to be able to help so many people understand and smooth their feelings,” she celebrates.
Reported by Maureen Fernandes, April 14, 2020
Published in Mosaic newsletter, 2020 Q3, summer issue