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Barakaldo starts virtual support groups to address the psychological effects of Covid-19

The Basque city wants to alleviate the stress caused by the social isolation, insecurity and loss of loved ones

  • May 23, 2020 15:00
  • Author Aseniya Dimitrova
Medium hands 2069206 1920

The imposition of a state of emergency following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown measures that followed have caused high levels of stress among the Spanish population. That is why, earlier this week, the city council of Barakaldo, Basque country, announced the start of a psychological support programme, aimed at helping people get through the period more smoothly.

Virtual collective support in extraordinary times

Fear of contagion, uncertainty about when and how it will happen, when the situation will return to normal, what will the economic effects be – these are some of the questions that lead to feelings of uneasiness. Adding to them the social isolation and the loss of loved ones, and the picture gets grim for many society members.

This is what motivated Barakaldo City Council to create a programme aimed at psychologically supporting the locals, who have ended up in these kinds of situations, caused by Covid-19. It is implemented through the Zainduz program, a platform that offers psychological support to family members who care for people in situations of dependency. 

In particular, participants will receive support during the mourning in the context of lockdown, guidelines for self-care and emotional management of caregivers in the face of the Covid-19 health crisis and tips on how to maintain healthy family relationships through coexistence strategies. A virtual meeting space to promote exchange, and community support networks will be created and established.

For this purpose, there will be virtual psychosocial support groups which allow for participants to share, rest psychologically and be heard. The methodology of the online meetings will be focused on generating a warm, trustworthy and secure climate where the recipients feel involved.

Flexible schedules

The authors of the measure support the establishment of close groups consisting of no more than 6 people and weekly one-hour meetings. The schedule and dates foreseen are flexible since they will be adapted to the needs of the participants.

Finally, the municipal representatives also have a solution for those with difficulties in accessing digital media or in using it. They will be accompanied while using a digital medium that is more comfortable for them and gives them greater chances to succeed in the programme.



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