Zimbabweans highlighted by COVID-19 look to the bench of friendship for comfort

The effects of the coronavirus pandemic have expanded the mental health of people around the world. Zimbabwe is no exception. However, some stressed Zimbabweans have found their own support on the Friendship Bench, one of the country’s largest counseling services.

The Friendship Bench was created in 2006 to provide counseling to those who are stressed or depressed by the political and economic situation in Zimbabwe. Currently, most clinics and hospitals in Harare have branches and are the only large-scale mental health treatment service in the country.

The service is run by volunteers who do not want to see the people of Zimbabwe feel serious anxiety.

Chengetayi Nyamukapa, Country Coordinator of Friendship Bench, states that with COVID-19, the organization is currently primarily engaged in online counseling. (Columbus Mafunga / VOA)

According to Chengetayi Nyamukapa, Country Coordinator of Friendship Bench, many people have stopped meeting in person because of COVID-19.

“We will continue to provide counseling to infected individuals affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, just as the Friendship Bench says we are there,” said Nyamukapa. “Once again, I’ve said that traditional face-to-face can’t do that, but what the organization has done is move to an online platform. Voice, video calls, it’s text messages, and common phone calls. There is even. “

But some, like Elizabeth Civeka, still come to their office. Her 49-year-old father said he was fighting COVID-19.

“I have nothing to pay for his medical bill,” she said. “I’m unemployed. There’s no way to raise money even for his food. I’ve come here to talk to these people because they are some of the things that stress me. COVID-19 is there, especially where we stay. Because of COVID-19, we can’t attend the funeral. “

Forget Gutuza Gutsuza, 53, one of the friendship bench counselors, says COVID-19 has recently dominated counseling. (Columbus Mafunga / VOA)

Forget Gutuza, 53, one of the Friendship Bench counselors, recently said COVID-19 dominates her counseling.

“COVID-19 really spread its wings,” she said. “It’s all over. But people aren’t obscured. I don’t know how awareness-raising programs can be done. Why don’t people understand our situation?”

Dr. Debra Machand, Head of Mental Health at the World Health Organization office in Zimbabwe, said COVID-19 is causing a lot of stress.

“Recently, we’ve seen a lot of mental illness, including panic attacks, insomnia, depression, and a surge in family conflict and violence,” she said. “So there’s a lot that people can do to reduce their loss of income and reduce stress. It’s hard to understand first, to understand that we live in strange times, and things are difficult. When people understand, it also means they are trying to anticipate their expectations. “

This perception may help people to cope with the ever-increasing number of COVID-19 cases in Zimbabwe and the increasing number of delta variants.

Zimbabweans highlighted by COVID-19 look to the bench of friendship for comfort

Source link Zimbabweans highlighted by COVID-19 look to the bench of friendship for comfort

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