news27 aprile 2020

Covid-19 emergency: the toll-free number for psychological support to citizens is active

Hundreds of civil protection volunteers specialised in emergency psychology are also involved

From today, April 27, the toll-free number for psychological assistance 800.833.833 is available. The Ministry of Health and the Civil Protection Department worked for the implementation of the toll-free number, thanks to the support offered free of charge by TIM .  The number, which can also be reached from abroad by calling 02.20228733 is also available to deaf people and provide for the psychological assistance services already guaranteed by the National Health Service.  It is addressed to people suffering from anxiety, fears, stress, discomfort due to mourning, economic difficulties, loneliness and the sudden change of daily habits related to the Covid-19.

Every day, from 8 a.m. to midnight, specialized professionals, psychologists, psychotherapists and psychoanalysts respond to requests for help. The service is organized on two levels.  The first level is telephone listening and aims to respond to psychological distress and alleviate anxiety through reassurances and suggestions. 500 emergency psychologists, part of the national voluntary civil protection organisations respond to first level requests. Among them: Psicologi per i Popoli (Psychologists for Peoples), the Italian Society of Emergency Psychology, the Order of Malta's Italian Emergency Relief Corps and the Alfredo Rampi Centre.

"Thank you, once again, to the civil protection volunteers who put their passion and professionalism at the service of the country" underlined Angelo Borrelli, Head of the Department, during today's press conference.

In order to respond to the need to provide a more in-depth and prolonged listening, calls can be directed to the second level, which includes, besides the health and sociomedical services of the NHS, many scientific societies in the psychological field.  Requests for help will be forwarded from the first level also according to their specificity, from childhood and adolescence psychology to addiction.  Professionals at the second level can offer support interviews, up to four times, by telephone or online.

At the second level more than 1500 volunteer psychotherapists from the following scientific societies listed by the Ministry of Health  participate in the second level (MD August, 2): the Italian Association of Psychology, the Italian Association of Psychoanalytic Psychology, the Italian Federation of Psychotherapy Associations, the Italian European Federation for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, the Italian Society of Psycho-oncology, the Italian Society of Pediatric Psychology, the Italian Society of Behavioural and Cognitive Therapy, the Italian Drug Addiction Society and the Italian Psychoanalytic Society.