The crisis hotline 1247 of the Emergency Response Centre now offers psychological first aid in cooperation with the specialists of the 116 006 victim support crisis hotline of the Social Insurance Board.
Psychosocial crisis assistance in Estonia is organised by the Social Insurance Board. Psychological first aid is part of a wider crisis response plan. The activities support the population in psychosocial coping and adaptation during the emergency situation aimed at minimizing the spread of the coronavirus.
Mari Tikerpuu, service manager of the Victim Support Unit of the Social Insurance Board said: "We know that long-term stress can have a devastating effect on our mental health. It is very important to offer people support and guidance on how to look after their mental health and the mental health of others during the ongoing emergency situation."
She added that anyone who is in doubt about whether to call or not should most definitely make the call and speak to a specialist.
The service also welcomes calls from people who are concerned about their loved ones and want to discuss how to provide them with better emotional support.
"In particular, we wish to be there for first responders, who have to cope with a high workload and being away from their loved ones on a daily basis," said Tikerpuu.
Helmer Hallik, head of the Crisis Management Unit of the Emergency Response Centre said: "Almost 18,000 people needing information and support to cope with the emergency have already called the 1247 hotline of the Emergency Response Centre. Our collaboration with the victim support crisis hotline enables us to provide professional support to people who direly need it in this difficult situation. I am very grateful to the victim support team for reaching out to us."
The specialists of the Victim Support Department of the Social Insurance Board assist the volunteers of the 1247 crisis hotline and help to answer the calls.
- The 1247 hotline offers psychological first aid to all in need.
- First responders needing support and help to cope with stress are also welcome to call.
- Callers can receive advice 24/7 in Estonian, Russian, and English.
- People who do not want to or cannot make a call can receive help through an online chat at www.palunabi.ee
Although the volunteers of 1247 have already been providing first aid to those in need, cooperation with the specialists of the 116 006 victim support crisis hotline of the Social Insurance Board will enable them to help even more people and support first responders to maintain their working capacity and prevent them from burning out.
Editor: Helen Wright