Due to the global situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the mental health of many people has been affected. Quarantine, physical distance, remote work, temporary unemployment, children’s education from home, lack of physical contact with loved ones and the countless news stories about the increase of infected people cause constant concern, leading to depression, anxiety or stress.
According to the World Health Organization (2020), depression is one of the main disorders affecting the population worldwide. It causes a level of anguish among those who suffer from it, altering their mental state and raising their level of stress. It also affects the ability to perform daily tasks, damages relationships with family, friends and inhibits participation in the world of work.
In this context, the Universidad Peruana Unión (UPeU) and its promoter, the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Church in Peru, are developing a project called «Friendly Ear» which consists of providing free virtual counseling and psychological assistance to all people as a measure to face the health crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
For this purpose, the following virtual platform is available: https://www.upeu.edu.pe/oidoamigo/ where a team of 96 volunteer psychologists and interns from the 5th year of the Professional School of Psychology of the UPeU provide free psychological care and counseling via telephone.
As part of the team of volunteer psychologists, 20 are psychology professionals from the Women’s Ministry of the Northern Peruvian Union.
In this way, the UPeU seeks to contribute to an improvement in the mental well-being of the general population and to bring hope in the midst of the current crisis.