To counsel the Covid patients and healthcare workers, ICMR came up with a guidebook
A manual has been published by the Indian Council of Medical Research for the counselling of Covid-19 patients, families, healthcare and frontline workers.
The medical research regulator said that the manual was produced as the disease has started the fear in the community because of severe morbidity, morality and high transmission.
“The objective of this manual is to guide the counsellors in understanding and addressing the mental health needs of the individuals, who are awaiting results of Covid-19 tests, confirmed Covid-19 individuals, healthcare workers working in Covid hospitals and their family members,” says the guide.
The mental stress is also caused by fear of getting the infection. The condition of people who are already affected by an existing mental health will feel more distressed.
“While preventive and medical action is the most important, emergency psychological crisis interventions for people affected by Covid-19 are also critical. This includes direct interventions for patients and indirect for relatives, caregivers, and health care professionals. It will be essential to make a family member or primary contact of a Covid positive patient aware, provide correct scientific knowledge and provide psychosocial first aid in the form of emotional and mental support in a culturally appropriate manner,” says the guide.
People who can act as counsellors apart from professional counsellors, are individuals with master`s degrees in social work or psychology and with some counselling experience, health care workers trained for counselling, and trained individuals.
The manual focuses on enhancing an affected person`s coping skills by bringing changes in the decision-making and behavioural changes specific to the crisis arising out of the pandemic.
The manual should not be treated as an alternative to professional help. The individuals who are affected by mental health condition, should refer affected individuals for professional help.
Vasavya Mahila Mandali (VMM) formed teams with doctors and psychologists to provide counselling to Covid patients which would help them to cope up with the stress, said A Md Imtiaz. He released the pamphlets and wall posters brought out by the VMM at the camp office here on Monday along with president of VMM Dr Keerthi and assistant director AV Narayana Rao.