Due to the pandemic caused by COVID19, humanity is joining forces to try to fight the virus. Health personnel are struggling to provide the best care to thousands of patients. In turn, millions of people are in their homes, helping to control this virus through quarantine.
From Needlab we applaud all the effort around us, and considering that Spain is currently the country with the second-most deaths, we want to offer special support to all those who are grieving the loss of a family member or close friend, children for whom struggle to adapt to the current situation, people who are facing this quarantine period alone or for whom confinement has unleashed a state of anxiety.
What it does
One of our greatest concerns are people who are grieving and due to the pandemic unable to accompany their loved ones during their illness or have a funeral or proper farewell. Because of that, they are at high risk of suffering from mental illness and developing maladaptive behaviours. Our next priority is children since it is difficult for them to adapt to the situation of confinement. We want to provide strategies to make this process easier and prevent the development of feelings of guilt, shame and avoidance. To address those needs, we want to create supportive content for all those who are alone during quarantine or suffer from anxiety, trying to work on resilience, acceptance and recognition of negative emotions and, especially for those who are alone, take advantage of technology to create a network of support and make them feel that they are still part of society.
How we built it
Based on the above, we brought together a group of health professionals, scientists, graphic designers and audiovisual communicators, with whom we want to create a digital platform that includes:
Informative videos on various aspects of grief and mourning, emphasizing strategies that help families and friends to make a proper closing.
Virtual group sessions led by trained personnel, to directly support small groups of people who are grieving
Community-based activities rooted in MBT (Mindfulness-based therapy ), which according to scientific evidence has been shown to be an effective method in controlling anxiety, guilt and management of emotions.
Identify - through group sessions, emails or surveys - those people who are at higher risk of an unfavourable outcome such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder or suicide, in order to carry out a closer follow-up or recommend an appropriate referral to a help centre, as a method of prevention for mental illness.
Create playful content such as stories, drawings or games, to help explain the loss of a loved one and the current state of isolation to children.
Create content where parents are provided with tools that allow them to have assertive communication with their children.
Challenges we ran into
To develop this project, we need resources that will allow us to connect a large number of certified professionals, ensuring the management and dissemination of information responsibly.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Within one week we have built a holistic team of designers, doctors, material scientist, microbiologist, Psychologists, Makers to build this project and launch it.
We have caught the attention of Norrsken Foundation in Sweden, Local government of Catalunya. We have built a partnership with BIPP HUB, Spain.
What we learned
There is a dramatic lack of supportive and educational material for people grieving, in particular targeting people in social isolation Our initial survey amongst healthcare stakeholders showed a high demand for healing support groups to reduce anxiety among affected and infected people and their families. Psychologists want to participate in support groups to help people who are dealing with this issue. Parents have a lot of doubts about activities, conversations, cares, and attitudes that are better to have with their children to prevent mental illness.
What's next for Corona troopers
We are on boarding partner organisations, foundations and local government to support us with the initiative financially and legally. We want to start building a community of people who are in pain and looking for help. We want to pair psychologists with registered people to start our support group healing. We are looking into developing a short and easy-to-deliver training module on “psychological first aid” to equip medical personnel appropriately when leading support groups