Peer support and counseling, vital for psychosocial wellbeing

Shanker (pseudonym) is 78 years old and is living in Suryabinayak, Bhaktapur. He recently joined Self-Help Group of persons with lived experience of mental health condition. He made some friends there and encourages them to open up in the meetings as it has helped him get better. Considering what he was going through just a few months back, he considers his present to be more positive and vibrant.
He worked in India for a long time and came back to Nepal following the death of his wife. He went through loneliness and recurrence of past moments and he started feeling discomfort. He tried to keep himself busy with poetry. It worked for a while but he lost interest soon after. The problems compounded following the pandemic as news of loss of lives came in left, right and center.
He visited psychologist of KOSHISH and poured his heart out. Counseling sessions were planned, with him eager for each visit; to open up layers of distress and cover it up with a sense of relief. Together they explored his feelings, resources and resiliency skills and focused in developing coping mechanism. He continues to receive counseling to this day and participates in peer group meetings. Now, he has got his interest in poetry back as well and is eager to share it with his new friends in a group; a group for support, a group for peers, a group where they all understand each other, a group where they feel belonged.

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