From June to December 2020, KOSHISH in partnership with Canada Fund for Local Initiative implemented the “Promotion of Mental Health and Psychosocial Wellbeing of Vulnerable Persons Impacted by COVID-19” project. As an emergency response in Gandaki province, KOSHISH attempted to address the mental health and psychosocial concerns of vulnerable people affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During project implementation, toll-free number 1660-61-52007 was activated for tele-counseling service within the province. By this means, altogether 499 persons were provided with counseling service and were benefitted through multiple counseling sessions. On the other hand, the dissemination of informative materials particularly led the community school, women’s group, and disabled-person organization sought for the service. In this light, the project prioritized psychosocial interventions that specifically focused on addressing emotional and social needs along with service-linkage.
During the pandemic, the beneficiaries from Kaski, Gorkha, Lamjung, Parbat, Baglung, Syangja, Tanahun, Nawalpur, Myagdi districts within the Gandaki Province sought counseling service. Among beneficiaries, some of the major issues were COVID-19 induced fear, anxiety, sleep-disturbance, economic burden, disturbance in daily-functioning, loss of income are some of the major issues. In delivering service Psychological First Aid incorporated stress-management, self-care techniques, positive-coping skills during the COVID-19 pandemic to alleviate the psychological distress of the affected population.
The relief materials were distributed to the vulnerable and marginalized people who were in need during the pandemic. A total of 612 persons received basic food support. Similarly, 230 persons received their daily medication. The stress and scarcity created by the pandemic among marginalized communities in the selected municipalities of Gandaki Province were successfully addressed by the project by supporting to maintain their wellbeing and daily living.