Liberate lauches counselling support service in response to COVID-19 emergency

Liberate is launching its new counselling support service, but its focus has changed…

Like many other charities, Liberate’s income for 2020 dropped off a cliff edge three weeks ago. It was there one day and gone the next! Since then Liberate has been looking for ways in which it can use its resources to support the island’s effort to manage COVID-19.

Vic Tanner Davy, CEO of Liberate, said: “We had been working on a new counselling offering as part of our HIV work and it was ready to launch when the coronavirus outbreak arrived in Jersey. As we watched the news and heard stories from people struggling with various mental health issues due to the crisis, we realised this was the service that we could repurpose to respond to the islandwide effort.”

The new service is offered to anyone who needs it for no charge. Due to anticipated demand, clients will be offered three sessions of one hour per week over video link or telephone. Liberate aims to assist those experiencing stress, anxiety, panic, depression, grief and other mental health issues due to the conditions imposed by the crisis, such as:

  • Change in routine;
  • Separation from family and friends;
  • Loss of freedom;
  • Being quarantined in a home that is unsafe or hostile;
  • Easier access at home to addictive substances;
  • Taking on more care responsibilities due to a lack of access to regular care for a family member with a disability;
  • Lack of employment/boredom;
  • Job insecurity;
  • Debt;
  • Uncertainty over own disease status;
  • Concern about loved ones being infected;
  • Bereavement.

Liberate hopes that the addition of extra mental health support into Jersey’s system at a low level will provide capacity to mental health professionals higher up the chain to deal with more acute cases. In particular, the ability for mental health professionals in the Health Service to support their colleagues on the frontline, who will need help in the coming weeks to cope with stressors including home pressures, workplace stress and traumatic exposure.

If anyone would like to use the service, they can sign up at https://liberate.je/counselling/

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