Mental health and Covid-19: Supporting people to survive and heal
10 October 2021
The impact of coronavirus on people’s mental health has become increasingly evident since the pandemic began. Thanks to your support, volunteers in Peru have been trained in emotional and spiritual listening and support.
Rosalynn and Soledad, from our Church partner Caritas Chosica, explain how they have supported people to survive and heal.
“During the Covid-19 pandemic, we have witnessed an increase in negative emotions such as anxiety, depression and fear, which have affected people’s mental health. Social distancing prevents personal relationships and also generates uncertainty. There are fewer opportunities and places to chat, to express affection, or to provide each other with emotional support.
“However, in the face of this crisis, people are able to respond with resilience to overcome their adversity. We have organised ourselves in community kitchens, volunteered to get bags of groceries for families, and offered our time to listen and provide emotional support from home. All of these efforts have allowed many to emerge strengthened and renewed."
"We know women who, despite all of this adversity, have overcome, grown and discovered new horizons."
Rosalynn and Soledad, Caritas Chosica
Living through lockdown in Peru
Back in March 2020, Peru introduced one of the most severe lockdowns in Latin America. There are still restrictions on movement, and most children have yet to return to school after nearly two years.
Rosalynn and Soledad told us more about the effect that coronavirus and lockdowns have had on local people, particularly women.
“We have learned to see people from their potential, recognising their personal resources and discovering their mission in this world and in this time. We know women who, despite all of this adversity, have overcome, grown and discovered new horizons. They transform their pain, maintain their capacity to love, to fight and to face reality, learning to live in it."
In total, 24 volunteers have been trained in emotional and spiritual listening and support. They have made telephone calls to different people who requested this support for various reasons - including grief, loss of work, family relationships, stress and anxiety.
You are helping people to rebuild from coronavirus
Throughout the pandemic, you have also helped Caritas Chosica to provide meals to local families who were ill with Covid-19 or who had lost their jobs, and helped people to buy the medicine they need. This included Venezuelan migrants in Peru, who faced the additional challenge of having no family around them to help out.
Coronavirus is a crisis that affects us all. But it continues to affect the most vulnerable communities the most. Our local experts are working round the clock to respond to the developing needs of the communities we work with around the world - thanks to your support.
Sunday 10 October is World Mental Health Day