Children and parents need psychological support

Enfants et parents ont besoin de soutien psychologique

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Since the closure of the schools, many teens no longer have access to the psychological follow-up to which they were accustomed.

It is 9 h. Léa Pépin, a caregiver psychosocial Tel-jeunes and LigneParents, connects to the platform Teams. She greets virtually his colleagues of criminologists, sexologists, psychologists and psychosocial workers like her. All are now working from home, but remain connected — a crucial link to share what they hear and what they are experiencing.

A few minutes later, a first call between. Or rather a first chat. Since the beginning of the crisis of the COVID-19, the interventions to Tel-jeunes and LigneParents are up 30 %. Thus, on average, 200 young people and 73 parents who are demanding, each day, to help. To respond to this growing demand, Québec has granted the agency an emergency aid of $ 500,000 to increase the number of hours offered in the aid relationship.

It must be said that, since the closure of the schools, many teens no longer have access to the psychological follow-up to which they were accustomed. Not to mention the stress and anxiety are on the rise in parents as in children, now confined 24 hours on 24, 7 days on 7 set, in a state of uncertainty overwhelming.

This time, it’s a teen of 13 years who lives a sentence of love that is at the end of his keyboard. With this question haunting, a sort of ritual grieving teens : when to stop-I have wrong ?

The intervention lasts for one hour. Leah welcomes his sentence, creates a bond with the teen and asks questions to understand the situation. “It was an intervention model that is designed to ensure that the person regains the power over his situation,” says Leah. The advice and the answers keys in hand, therefore, are stored. “I took the time to talk to him to reflect himself on what makes him good. “The teen finally decided to contact one of his friends to play online with him. And Leah reminded him that it is important to take the time to live out his sentence.

“Usually, young people find that their problems are exacerbated by the COVID, but for him it is an advantage to be confined, as it does not cross over the other person “, points out Léa.

Since 13 march, the date of the announcement of the school closures, the calls related to the mental and psychological health have increased from 40 % to 50% on Tel-jeunes and LigneParents. You can no longer see his friends, having to make a cross on her prom or not being able to attend his / her boyfriend or girlfriend are all situations heart-wrenching that teens and their parents are forced to live. “Many young people feel a sense of anger, incomprehension and a feeling of injustice,” says Leah.

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Multiple hats

The parents are also at the centre of this storm, which is redefining family roles. In addition to being parents, they have become, overnight, teleworkers, teachers, and sometimes even of the psychosocial workers. Hats are sometimes difficult to stack.

While Leah was talking with the teen, Genevieve Henry, she received a call from a parent struggling with a child of two years whose seizures are on the rise. There is also the intervention has stretched on for nearly an hour.

“These are behaviors or questions that were already there before, but since the crisis, the parents must deal with it 24 hours on 24, without a break. It is normal that they feel overwhelmed, ” explains the speaker of psychosocial.

The same mode of operation that has been deployed : to welcome the person, listen to it and support it, and then bring it to find solutions that build on its strengths and on what makes sense to her.

Here, the child had experienced a change important family in the last days. The action plan deployed has been to offer more comfort and attention during this moment is destabilizing.

A helping relationship in writing

While 86% of parents who want help still do it by telephone, this proportion is only 23 % among teens who are now a majority (68 %) to written communication instant — text and chat and email (9 %) to seek help.

A mode of communication that provides anonymity and a sense of control even more great for young people, ” explains Élise Huot, coach clinic at Tel-jeunes and LigneParents. “When the teens are hidden behind their screen, their parents can’t hear them, and the emotion in their voice is less noticeable. “

The interventions, however, are more long. “We must ask more questions to understand a situation and the emotional state of the ado. “Closed-ended” questions (you’re sad ?) leave up to suggestions of open-ended (tell me what makes you sad), are most conducive to confidence. And the discussions that emerge are often more frank, believes Bertha Huot. “The phone, the teen would not dare to necessarily tell me that I don’t help that much, but in writing, it is less confronting for him. “

Fatigue of compassion

To get through this period of living in a ‘perfect storm’, the quarantine of the stakeholders of Tel-jeunes and LigneParents benefit, too, of a support to prevent their involvement in the fatigue of compassion. A condition that occurs when the speaker saw an excess of empathy and feels overwhelmed by the interventions he or she performs. “It is more difficult at this time to take distance. Our customer base speaks to us of the difficulties of containment, while they lived, we also, this containment “, argues Camille Mikan-Dupuis, co-ordinator of services. In the same way as Tel-jeunes and LigneParents are open 24 hours on 24 and 7 days on 7, the team of clinical support is available at any time of the day or night to support its stakeholders.

21 h just rang. Laurence Beaudry-Jodoin, a caregiver psychosocial, end a response by text that has stretched on for over an hour and a half. A teen entrusted him to have lived in a conflict with one of her friends. “She felt powerless in the face of the situation. And since the contacts are more difficult at this time, it is more difficult for teens to solve this type of problems. “

In the evening, the calls — more numerous is worn often with a particular intensity, so that teens and parents brought with them the fatigue of their day, stresses, Laurence. “I often have calls from young people who are not able to fall asleep because they are too stressed. “Stressed by the effects of the COVID-19 on their lives, by the dangers faced by their loved ones or even by misinterpretation of the ton of information floating around. It is thus quite low, and rugs, among them text silently on their keyboards, as the teens remind us loud and clear that they live them as fully the repercussions of this crisis to fragmentation.

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