LONELINESS AWARENESS WEEK 2021
BY VENGAI, TELEPHONE BUDDY
One of the feelings most of us experienced during the Covid-19 pandemic is loneliness.
In our efforts to keep ourselves safe and save lives by avoiding gatherings and maintaining social distance from friends and family, I got caught up in another mental health issue brought on by loneliness.
The situation was made worse by me having to shield to avoid being seriously ill if I catch Covid-19 infection. I spent each day and night in my room not even interacting with house mates because of fear of being exposed to the deadly virus.
Shielding during lockdown was like self-imprisonment - not going outside. If I went out for a walk it was for a very short period of time because of fear of exposure to the virus. I lost confidence of myself especially walking outside alone. Shielding during lockdown gave me mental torture and the effects will last for quite some time.
However, Melissa, my phone buddy helped me a lot to cope with the challenges of shielding during lockdown, which were serious but with the help of Melissa I felt I was not alone during these most difficult times.
During the weekly telephone calls, I engaged in very interesting conversations which alleviated my worries. The conversations helped me to change my mindset for the better. I was so encouraged and remained positive.
Melissa referred any issues I experienced to George House Trust's services team for immediate help annd prompt support. This is the reason why I managed well during the lockdown period.
Melissa impacted me in a positive way, I did not feel left alone to deal with my problems. I was always with somebody to lift my morale and give me hope. Well done phone buddy!!