Sukoon: India’s first tele-counselling service for people afflicted by COVID-19 induced anxiety

A first of its kind mental healthcare facility, Sukoon aims to alleviate anxiety during the curfew by opening telephonic and messaging facilities to people across India

Photo courtesy- social media
Photo courtesy- social media

NH Web Desk

Sukoon Healthcare hospital has launched an online counseling service not just for patients but any one who is feeling anxious, depressed or helpless at home during the COID-19 lockdown.

The hospital is a Super Specialty Hospital which focuses on Mental Health.

Online counseling service Sukoon health has been founded by two young Social entrepreneurs Vidit Bahri and Kanishk Gupta and is gearing up for a formal opening which will soon be backed by Fortis.

The two decided to set up this 24/7 service for anyone who wants to chat and share their stress with a healthcare professional.

Co-founder Vidit Bahri says “We live in an era where many young professionals are living alone. The concept of nuclear families has become extremely prevalent. Overall statistics show that our society is lonelier than ever. The stresses of work, quarantine and social pressures can negatively affect one's mental health. Our mission at Sukoon is to make mental health services available to the citizens of India across the country with the click of a button. We have launched our tele-counselling service during this time of uncertainty to support the citizens of India 24/7”.

“To top it all, this world is privy to an overdose of information. Some scary and fake and some authentic but nevertheless nerve racking. Not just loneliness there is the fear of falling sick, dying or losing a loved one. We want anyone flushed with these fears to call us allow our doctors to help them calm down,” adds Kanishk.

Experts at Sukoon have listed a few golden tips that will help everyone stay calm and stay indoors:

Follow a routine as close as possible to your regular lifestyle:

  • Try and maintain some semblance of structure from the pre-quarantine days. For those individuals with children, sticking to a routine might be easier; however as you work from home, it could be tempting to fall into a more lethargic lifestyle, which could lead to negative thinking. Wake up and go to bed around the same time, eat meals, shower, adapt your exercise regimen, and get out of your PJ’s. Do laundry on Sundays as usual. Not only will sticking to your normal routine keep you active and less likely to spiral, it will be easier to readjust to the outside world when it’s time to get back to work.

Re-organise space in your house to accommodate for the constraints of current living situation on maintaining a healthy and regular routine

· With all the uncertainty happening outside your home, keep the inside organized, predictable and clean. Setting up mental zones for daily activities can be helpful to organize your day. For example, try not to eat in bed or work on the sofa- just as before, eat at the kitchen table and work at your desk. Loosening these boundaries just muddles your routine and can make the day feel very long. Additionally, a cluttered home can cause you to become uneasy and claustrophobic of your environment- so keep it tidy.

Limit the duration of consuming content related to COVID 19

  • Set specific time limits on news watching In case you feel your social media is full of coronavirus related content, consider taking a break and limiting the amount of time spent on social media. Unfollow accounts that tend to trigger you right now.

Ask family and friends to limit their discussions with you regarding COVID-19

  • Identify alternative activities that are enjoyable to you and allow you to take a mental break from worries about current affairs such as Board games, movies (stay away from dystopian themes that may make you worry more!), listen to upbeat or calming music, gardening, painting, drawing, dancing etc. Adding something you enjoy your home routine uplifts your mood and creates pleasant moments in the day.

Use tele- health as an option to talk to a professional if your anxiety becomes unmanageable.

  • Many licensed psychologists are offering tele- health options over video chat platforms. Remember to reach out for help if your anxiety is reaching proportions that are unmanageable without professional help.

Connect with others

  • While social distancing can make everyone feel more alone, actively avoid the trap by getting in touch with your dear ones and reducing the sense of perceived isolation. Being aware that others are struggling just like us not only makes us feel understood but also motivates us to take necessary action to feel better collectively

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