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ITALY: Salesian Pontifical University launches online psychological support for children dealing with isolation


(MissionNewswire) Salesian missionaries with the Higher School of Specialization in Clinical Psychology at the Salesian Pontifical University in Rome, Italy, have launched a free digital psychological counseling platform. The goal is to help youth cope with the psychological impact that could result from the long isolation caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The project is called “You stay home … I’m with you.”

Competent professionals and psychologists enrolled in the second, third and fourth year of specialization in psychotherapy will provide a space in which people will be listened to proactively. Further, if there is a need, psychologists will offer additional resources on interventions for stress response syndromes in the case of anxiety and depression or post-traumatic stress disorder. The consultancy provides for three online meetings for analysis and evaluation, identification of self-regulation resources related to stress response syndromes, and follow-up.

“The project arises from the need of specializing professionals and psychologists to put themselves at the service of others and to provide a place for exchange and listening in which people can feel understood and access resources to self-regulate and undertake psychological accompaniment paths,” explained Professor Father Mario Oscar Llanos, dean of the faculty of educational sciences.

Fr. Llano added, “This initiative is important because it is the contribution of our University to mitigate the psychological impacts that this emergency situation may have, especially on families and children.”

Italy, Europe’s third-largest economy, has close to 2 million children living in poverty, according to UNICEF. The poverty rate has risen in the wake of Europe’s economic crisis. Unemployment is at its highest level since the late 1970s with the overall jobless rate at 12.5 percent and youth unemployment as high as 41 percent.

According to UNICEF, a growing number of youth are living away from their families in temporary shelters and within government and charity programs because of inadequate support from or neglect by their families. Salesian programs work to combat these challenges by providing shelter, nutrition, education and workforce development services for youth in need.

Salesian programs across Italy help youth who are unable to attend school and others who drop out to work at the few jobs available to them. A growing number of children work as laborers on farms and others have turned to the sex trade to help support their families. Those in poverty often live without adequate shelter, hot water, regular meals and health care.



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ANS – Italy – “You stay home … I’m with you.” UPS free online psychological counseling service

Salesian Missions – Italy

UNICEF – Italy Poverty

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