Published: 07th April 2020
Tring tring: Give counselling hotline One Life a call if sitting at home amidst the lockdown is driving you crazy
Bhubaneswar-based One Life has always offered free counselling and for COVID-19, they are stepping up their game and helping both adults and youngsters through these testing times. Give them a call
Sometimes, help can be one call away. And this statement stands true even in these extraordinary times of COVID-19. One Life and their 15 counsellors, including the Co-founder Summon Patra too, stand by this statement and are open to talking to all those anxiety-ridden and stressed souls who are having a tough time staying at home, dealing with cancellation of exams or facing distress due to the lockdown. This was launched two days ago by One Life, a Bhubaneswar-based helpline which has been offering free counselling services since they started their services in June 2019.
Why they started
Summon tells us that they received about 25 calls on their first day. "Among them were many students who were preparing for JEE and other competitive exams. They are worried that they will lose out on a year or their preparations might have been in vain," says the certified NLP trainer who adds, "We are imploring them to be positive, use this time to introspect and look at the brighter side — they have more time to prepare." Then there are those people who are calling because they are scared of losing their jobs or those who are stranded. "But the main reason people call is because they are lonely," he says.
The poster | (Pic: One Life)
It was only last week that m One Life decided to offer exclusive counselling for COVID-19 as well. Especially those who are quarantined and are alone. This is also for those who have been tested positive and their families who are worried to their wit's end. There are many who are calling them for information about ration and asking when the lockdown would end. In this case, the counselors have been given a list of official numbers which they can share with the people. "If we start sharing information, we will be deviating from our agenda of counselling," says Summon. A webinar was held for all counsellors explaining all this and much more. The intention that was emphasised was to spread positive vibes only.
What the counsellors say
Smita Mohanty, one of the counsellors at One Life who also counsels at DAV Public School, shares that, "I get calls where people tell me they feel like they are in jail." In such circumstances, she does her best to motivate them. Her advice for youngsters is that they evaluate their hobbies and engage in some or other activities. "Adolescents, who are used to being with friends, are not spending quality time with parents during this lockdown and instead, are glued to their phones. We are trying to encourage them to engage and interact with their parents," suggests the 29-year-old. Even parents are unable to understand how to engage with their children. In such cases, she suggests parents sign their kids up for an online course, read, paint and indulge in other such activities.
Snigdha Dhal, one of One Life's counsellors who is also the counsellor for the Odisha Education Department, says that while kids are not as stressed, the grown-ups, who know exactly what is going on, are more anxious. "Salaries are not coming on time and businesses are failing, these are primary concerns," shares the 36-year-old. "I am asking all of them to remember that this time might not come back in the future, they must reevaluate where they want to go in life and develop oneself in that direction," she says.