Persons struggling to cope with COVID-19 related issues can now seek online help at the Sweet Water Foundation by contacting the helplines: 537-7867 or 800-4444 or emailing email@example.com.
The helpline which was launched in 2018 by the Sweet Water Foundation and the Sandals Foundation to strengthen Grenada’s capacity to help protect children from sexual violence, is extending its services to all individuals during this unprecedented time of a global pandemic.
“During COVID-19 of course, we are doing our part to help the nation,” expressed Child Protection Specialist and Director of the Sweet Water Foundation Dr. Hazel Da Breo to The Grenadian Voice on Monday. She added that since COVID-19, about 50% of their calls have been COVID-19 related.
Dr. Da Breo noted that though the helpline was originally established to focus on child protection, calls have been received from teenagers, youths and young adults looking for answers around sex and sexuality and relationships issues.
“We have also helped clients with suicidal ideation,” she said, reminding that the tagline is “Any Time for Any Reason.”
Founder Dr. DaBreo reported that “The WhatsApp feature is by far the most used. Not only do we have new callers, but old clients have remained with us since the beginning in a full, confidential online counselling service.”
She shared that in the first quarter for 2020, 1,185 contacts between WhatsApp, text, emails and telephones were logged.
Heidi Clarke, Executive Director at the Sandals Foundation is optimistic that the services of Sweet Water will be helpful.
“As families around the world are forced to stay home, we know that this new reality can foster heightened levels of stress for children and adults resulting in increased cases of emotional and even physical abuse. The team at Sweet Water is expertly trained and we welcome every member of the Grenadian family to reach out if they are in need of support to navigate this tough time. Together we can help each other maintain a positve mental health and foster better relationships.” Clarke said.
The Sweet Water Foundation clinic is in the Wave Crest Apartment, Grand Anse, St George. It is staffed by three trained counselors each of whom responds to the various contact outlets. There are also two therapists who see clients face to face.
The Sweet Water Foundation Child Helpline has joined the Child Helpline International (CHI), a global network of 181 child helplines in 147 countries and will operate in a similar manner as the other helplines within the network.