College of Agriculture, Engineering
and Science (CAES)

Emotional Support During COVID-19 #Lockdown Just a Phone Call Away

The effects of COVID-19 are far-reaching and this unprecedented global crisis may affect us physically and financially, and can impact our emotional wellbeing.

UKZN’s Employee Wellness Programme for staff members and their immediate families is operational during the national Covid-19 #lockdown period. The service includes 24-hour telephonic counselling with a qualified counsellor; guidance on legal, financial, and family care matters; and trauma and manager support.

UKZN’s Director of Human Resource Development, Mrs Busisiwe Ramabodu said a lockdown can have detrimental effects on our psychological wellbeing as a result of excessive worry and anxiety, loneliness, strained relationships due to being closed up together for an extended period and excessive news watching. ‘Staff members who are feeling overwhelmed and frustrated or need someone to talk to during this very difficult time can call the UKZN wellness toll-free number and speak with trained counsellors,’ she said.

‘As we all bunker down in our homes over the next few weeks, we may experience times of frustration related to COVID-19, or have family, financial or health concerns. I encourage staff members to utilise this service to help minimise stress,’ Ramabodu added.

Staff members are encouraged to continue with healthy habits, ie, exercise indoors and in the garden, follow a balanced diet, play family games, and engage in reading, meditation and mindfulness practice as these are likely to provide another buffer against COVID-19 related stress.

The service is available 24/7/365 to staff and their immediate families living in the same household by dialing 0800-254-255 (toll-free).

Words: Raylene Captain-Hasthibeer

Photograph: Supplied