Call center gives mental health support against coronavirus

Call center gives mental health support against coronavirus

ISTANBUL – Demirören News Agency
Call center gives mental health support against coronavirus

Alamy Photo

A call center, which was set up just a week after the start of the outbreak in Turkey on March 11 to give psychological support to those affected by the coronavirus pandemic with only 60 volunteers, has now become a world-class online therapy center with 681 professionals, according to the Istanbul Provincial Directorate of Health officials heading it.

The Program for Mental Health Online Support on Coronavirus (KORDEP) has organized online therapies for more than 1,100 people among the thousands of applications received, said Kemal Memişoğlu, the provincial director of health.

“This is something new, not only in Turkey but also in the world, too. It is a system based on voluntariness with 681 health professionals from universities, hospitals and non-governmental organizations,” added Memişoğlu.

Erenköy Training and Research Hospital for Psychiatry and Neurological Diseases, which is the base for KORDEP, had to enlarge the center due to the immense demand since the start of the outbreak, according to the officials.

“We started the program to help people affected by coronavirus. But we extend it to those influenced by natural disasters and crisis,” Rabia Bilici, chief physician of the hospital, said.

People of age groups between 16-75 called the center to apply for therapy, according to data obtained by KORDEP officials.

“We make three calls with the applicant at the first stage. At the second stage, around five calls in five weeks are set up,” said Bilici, giving the details of the therapy system.

“This makes around 5,000-6,000 online therapies.”