Giving emotional support to students and their families is the goal of the “Aquí Estoy” Phone line (2272-3774), which will be available starting this month. This alliance between the Ministry of Public Education (MEP) and the College of Professionals in Psychology, will allow more than 150 psychologists to carry out risk assessments and give psychological first aid to those who request the service. To fulfill the task, the MEP also made available the lines: 2459-1598 and 2495-1599. They will all work from 8:00 a.m. at 12 md. and from 1:00 p.m. at 5:00 p.m.
“Professionals in psychology will allow us to expand the support they are already providing in many schools and colleges in the country. This alliance will strengthen and make visible the contribution of our professionals,” said Gabriela Valverde, director of the MEP’s Office of Student Life.
Crisis interventions and providing strategies to the family
According to the MEP, the functions of the “Linea Aquí Estoy” include: Carrying out interventions in crisis, giving psychological first aid from the knowledge of the experts, evaluating the risk of psychosocial situations in the student population and making references to the cases of students who present a situation of psychosocial risk.
It also plans to provide strategies to families on the prevention and care of vulnerable situations, as well as to promote mental health and self-care. “The psychologists in charge of attending the students and providing the service may also do so through the Teams online platform, when the beneficiaries have connectivity,” Valverde explained.
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College of Professionals in Psychology launched the project in 2019
According to the president of the College of Professionals in Psychology, Óscar Valverde, the “Aquí Estoy” line has been running since May 2019. “It was born to exclusively serve people who were in a situation of suicidal ideation and behavior,” said Valverde.
However, starting this month, the line will expand services to support students and their families. “In the face of Pandemic, our Professional College has assumed a position of human solidarity and social commitment, from which we have been able to provide support to different sectors of the population in response to calls from the Costa Rican institutionality,” stated the president of the College. He added that through this alliance, the MEP will be able to maintain a closer relationship with students and their parents, to address the concerns generated by the current national emergency.
Professionals from the College of Psychologists also attend line 1322, which provides support and response to people who need psychological recourse for situations derived from the emergency by COVID-19.