Existential anxiety, and social Isolation: a rush to telephone counseling in the Corona-crisis

The Coronavirus crisis is leading to a rush to the phone of pastoral care in Germany. This was confirmed by several providers of this free service, you can get day and night, anonymous advice and help in existential distress. In the past three days had made calls to the phone of pastoral care in the whole of Germany, a 50 percent increase, said Babette Glöckner, head of the Evangelical Telefonseelsorge in Hamburg, on Thursday the star.

“We are working on full load,“ says Uwe Müller, managing Director of the Church’s Telefonseelsorge in Berlin and Brandenburg. Because of the Corona-crisis, even more people took advantage of currently the opportunity to get on the phone with advice and help for their problems, so the phone’s chaplain.


Not only is the Virus makes us sick. The fear of

There are mainly two reasons for this: firstly, the precautions increased due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the loneliness of many people. And secondly, the fear of economic Hardship waxes for many.

Less social contacts due to the Corona-precautions

A lot of people have currently significantly less direct social contacts than in “on-the-Corona-times,“ watching the telephone pastoral care in Germany. Because the social contacts to be limited due to the large risk of Infection.

Left alone with his problems – as you come quickly to the Brood. The issues to take the dimensions to which they would grow under different circumstances. “It is also quite a lot of unrealistic, paranoid Fears currently exist,“ says pastor bell ringer.

Even if the people in the conversations with the volunteer phone listeners don’t like to say, perhaps, that you feel isolated – the volunteer on the phone would take the loneliness between the lines clearly true, says the pastor.

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No self-help group, little contact with neighbors

In the current Corona-the event of a crisis, many people have a very hard without their normal group experiences clearly, to self-help groups for people with mental health problems is particularly important included, for example. “The intensive exchange with neighbours more and more,” observed the pastor. Sports groups can no longer be visited. All of this contributes to the loneliness.

People with mental disorders are affected by loneliness, especially. “The pressure is increasing,” says pastor bell ringer. It is also more and more people called on the telephone pastoral care, thinking of suicide.

In the conversation with the telephone helpline, the problems can shrink

The telephone counseling could help, because the pastor is sure. Your Team is like the rest of the provider of the telephone pastoral care in Germany – day and night, anonymously and for free to. “It is helpful if a person takes the fear of other people seriously,” she says.

The phone chaplains in Germany work on a voluntary basis. To be on the phone for people in emotional distress advise, you should undergo training and monitoring. This volunteer is traditionally popular with women.

Not only the loneliness will currently perceived as being particularly bad, says Uwe Müller of the Church Telefonseelsorge in Berlin and Brandenburg. Currently, many people get into financial and this is also an existential hardships. Or are you afraid that it can get that far – because Restaurants and stores need to close, events are cancelled or you will no longer be booked as a freelancer for their usual orders.

Fear of economic Hardship due to the Corona-crisis

In times prior to the Coronavirus pandemic, family difficulties are, for example, have been especially with the loss of a Partner, or a bad medical diagnosis reasons, in order for the telephone helpline to call, says Müller. Now, it would add even emergencies such as: “My employer goes bust, I have a fear of unemployment”, or “I probably need to give up due to the Corona-crisis to my little Shop”. Because of the brothel closures also called a prostitute. These people were afraid, that you in your financial Emergency at all, nobody helps.

Managing Director Müller is working as a phone chaplain and experienced, therefore, the current onslaught on the institution at first hand. “If you hang up the handset, then it rings again immediately,“ he says. “Nine out of ten Call turn currently Corona“. Only at night it was a little quieter.

Get out of the panic mode – that helps very much

The phone chaplains are not able to solve the problems but help to see them in a more realistic light, no longer in panic mode. This sort of thoughts to help the Affected. “We create it, the people from one Level of despair to a ‘Concern’-to get the Level down,” says phone pastor Müller.

Also pastor bell ringer has made the experience that a second, something can help more distant views of a Problem to a Concerned, are already very much says, “You must not get together to panic,” she said. The telephone pastoral care in these times of a Rock in the Surf.

While in many companies currently, mobile Work and Home Office is called for, you can consult the telephone pastoral care only from their usual jobs, and help – simply for reasons of IT security. This Job you can’t do it from any phone, but only from the designated jobs.

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Also in the telephone pastoral care there is a shortage of skilled workers

For the currently high demand there is actually too little staff phone pastor confirm in Hamburg and in Berlin and Brandenburg. “We are considering to re-activate people out of retirement and hope that some will go later in retirement than planned,” says Müller. Similar Considerations, there is also in your guidance, and confirmed by pastor bell ringer.

The telephone helpline advises not only on English, but in several other languages, such as Russian or Turkish. Also there is a Muslim telephone counseling. However, no matter in what language and in what a Problem the helpers on the phone will be called the operators of these voluntary programs does not expect that the rush dies down for the time being, because the Corona, with the crisis still in full swing.

And especially in times of Corona, this institution appears as the appropriate point of contact for many people who want to speak with someone about your Concerns and needs. A plus point from the point of view of many callers was that this will help the conversations be conducted without the need for direct social contact, says Müller, and brings it to the point: “fortunately the Virus is not on the phone.”

You have suicidal thoughts?

Help the phone offers pastoral care. It is anonymous, free-of-charge and round-the-clock 0 800 / 111 0 111 and 0 800 / 111 0 222 accessible. A consultation via E-Mail. A list of Federal-aid stations can be found on the page of the German society for suicide prevention.

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