New Delhi, Sep 21 (PTI) The apex child rights body NCPCR has launched a toll-free tele-counselling helpline number 1800-121-2830 for children affected during COVID-19 for providing counselling and psycho-social support.
The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), in a statement, said the tele-counselling service will provide psychological first-aid and emotional support to children who are in quarantine or isolation or at COVID care centres and children who have COVID positive parents or family members or children who have lost their parents due to COVID-19.
The Commission acknowledges that all children have unique vulnerabilities owing to specific needs and demands at different stages of growth till the time they reach adulthood, the statement said.
'COVID-19 pandemic has affected all of us, no matter how old we are. Children may experience a range of psychological issues such as anxiety, fear, worry, depression, difficulty sleeping, and loss of appetite,' it said.
'SAMVEDNA (Sensitizing Action on Mental Health Vulnerability through Emotional Development and Necessary Acceptance), Toll Free Tele counseling -18001212830 (from Monday to Saturday 10 am - 1 pm and 3 pm to 8 pm) will be able to address the stress, anxiety, fear and other issues among children,' the statement said.
When a child dials the toll-free number, they get to speak to a professional counsellor in a safe environment, it said.
'The tele-counseling support will cater to children all over India in various regional languages also. Counsellors have been specially trained by the expert team of NIMHANS to address the needs of children in these difficult times,' it added.
'The NCPCR with India Co-Win Action Network (I-CAN) has created a network of qualified and trained experts/counsellors/psychologists for providing psycho-social support to the children through tele-counselling. Technical support to this initiative has been provided by National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences (NIMHANS) in training of counsellors. The creativity partner for this NCPCR's initiative is New India Junction (NIJ),' the statement said. PTI UZM HDA