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Emotional support

We are facing a complex stage, full of challenges, at the emotional level too.

The consequences of the COVID-19 crisis (relating to health, society, the economy and so on) and uncertainties over the future may affect our emotional and mental health. Many citizens are experiencing anxiety, fear or loneliness.

In view of this situation, the City Council has launched a mental health shock plan to deal with people’s psychological suffering resulting from the COVID-19.

Consult this webpage for the services we are putting at your disposal, should you need emotional support or counselling for the situation we are currently experiencing.

  • Barcelona has launched its Municipal Strategy Against Loneliness, something that especially affects the populations of big cities and which has become more intense due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

    The city has taken the initiative to counter what the WHO defines as one of the great epidemics of the 21st century: loneliness. This is the feeling of not having a network of relationships close enough to turn to in the case of need.

    Just before Covid-19, a significant proportion of Barcelona residents of all ages felt lonely, a phenomenon occurring in children, adults and the elderly.

    • 13.2% of children between the ages of 10 and 12 say they are not completely sure that their relatives are concerned for them, while 26.5% feel they do not have enough friends, according to the survey “The Children Speak: the subjective well-being of children in BCN”
    • 6% of adolescents aged between 13 and 19 say they don't have any good friends, according to the Survey on Risk Factors in Secondary School (FRESC)
    • 25% of people aged 65 and over have felt a lack of company, according to the Barcelona Health Survey

    Incidence of Covid-19 on the feelings of city residents

    After the lockdown, some of these people stopped feeling lonely and were able to recover their affective and social networks. However, others have been suffering this feeling for longer.

    In this regard, Covid-19 and its associated consequences have become one more cause of loneliness, added to all the other identified sources, making the Municipal Strategy Against Loneliness more necessary than ever, in the new post Covid-19 context.

    According to the COVID-19 Survey in Barcelona, run by the City Council's Municipal Data Office and carried out between 6 and 16 April 2020:

    • 34% spent the lockdown with their partners.
    • 29% were living with four or more other people.
    • 15% spent it by themselves.

    Of those who spent it alone: 40.2% stated that the lockdown was very or quite tough, while the percentage of the same opinion who spent the time in company was 44.9%.  In other words, living in a one-person household does not necessarily mean greater suffering.

    The data also confirms the role that new technologies may have in facilitating connections between people, as 95% stated that they had an Internet connection.

    Instruments to ensure efficiency and accuracy

    The Scientific Advisory Council Against Loneliness has now been formed. It is made up of leading scientists in their fields and is dedicated to reflection and the exchange of knowledge between disciplines, as well as proposing measures and actions to be taken.

    The strategy includes the Municipal Observatory of Loneliness, which will include an Innovation Community, where loneliness-related social challenges will be considered and possible solutions formulated.

    The strategy identifies six main lines of action:

    • Offering services and resources.
    • Raising awareness about loneliness.
    • Making neighbourhoods places that foster relationships.
    • Rethinking the city in terms of combating loneliness.
    • Working in official networks and with organisations.
    • Rethinking the Administration's internal protocols.

    The City Council is currently carrying out 324 projects that are directly or indirectly concerned with loneliness.

    Observatory Website and Innovation Community

    The Municipal Strategy Against Loneliness also includes the creation of a specific website as a municipal tool for communication and dissemination, as well as being a public expression of the maximum importance and priority that the City Council will be giving to the fight against loneliness in the coming decades.

    Over 150 organisation representatives and individuals will be taking part in drafting the Strategy Against Loneliness, with the aim of presenting the strategy document and the results in January 2021.

    Further information (CA)

    Last updated 17/07/2020

  • Barcelona City Council is launching a mental-health shock plan, budgeted at an extra 1.5 million euros, to deal with COVID-19-related psychological suffering.

    The plan prioritises the groups hit hardest by the effects of the crisis: young children and teenagers, carers who have taken on a significant extra burden, the elderly and people with mental health problems.

    The plan also provides for support for the grieving process, suicide prevention and programmes to protect people’s mental health during the crisis, as well as to detect and support psychological distress.

    The current situation is complicated for a large number of citizens and the signs are that these effects will last for some time. The weekly survey on COVID-19 incidence in Barcelona  shows that 49% of the population found lockdown very or fairly tough, whereas 86% admit to being concerned over the situation caused by the pandemic.

    Fear, anxiety and loneliness are common situations, although an extra burden has also been detected among carers, as well as an increase in situations of risk and more symptoms among people with previous mental disorders.

    Notable projects in progress include :

    • The Cabàs Emocional online activities centre, for fostering resilience and emotional well-being. This is a website for disseminating resources, educational proposals and group initiatives.
    • A mental-health support and advice programme for social professionals and entities. The goal is to improve the early detection of mental health problems, particularly in neighbourhoods with more social difficulties.
    • The new free telephone helpline 649 756 713 (Mondays to Fridays, from 9 am to 5 pm, and on Saturdays, from 9 am to 1 pm) for children and families which is also aimed  at educators, teachers and monitors, for discussing their difficulties in dealing with children and teenagers emotionally.
    • Support for entities working in the area of the socio-labour integration of people with mental health problems.
    • Free suicide prevention helpline on 900 925 555 (round the clock, 365 days a year) specifically to handle calls from people demonstrating suicidal ideas or similar. 
    • Suicide prevention support point, intended to assist relatives, friends and workmates of people at risk of committing suicide. Programmed visits will be offered by Barcelona Cuida (tel. 934 132 121).

    Suicide prevention (ES)

    Further information (CA)

    Last updated: 06/08/2020

  • Many of us currently feel tired. And given the surge in COVD-19 cases recently seen over the last few weeks, we may be experiencing more intense feelings such as stress, uncertainty, fear and anxiety, besides having suffered the loss of a loved one. Or loss of work. Or any other difficult situation caused by the pandemic.

    For the city residents who so need it, the City Council is launching counselling and grief -support groups, in collaboration with the Catalan Official Psychologists Association (COPC).

    Counselling groups

    Emotional support groups are being organised from the five offices providing help with procedures relating to subsidies, promoted by Barcelona Activa and the Neighbourhood Plan and located in the districts of Nou Barris, Ciutat Vella, Sant Andreu and Sant Martí. 

    They had an open, face-to-face format, held under the guidance of a psychologist. Owing to the current restrictive measures, the number of people taking part will be up to a maximum of six, although that number is expected to double once the health situation improves.

    The meetings have already started in the districts of  Nou Barris, Sant Martí, Sant Andreu and Ciutat Vella, with the aim that they will gradually extend to other parts of the city.

    Grief-support groups

    Each group will hold four 2-hour sessions for treating and sharing experiences of grief and the loss of a loved one.

    They are conducted by an expert psychologist in the COPC's grief processes and held in outdoor spaces and with a maximum of six people for as long as the current health restrictions last. Later they will take place in the Biblioteca de Francesca Bonnemaison, Biblioteca de Nou Barris and Biblioteca de Sant Antoni libraries.

    You can register by phoning 660 625 570 or emailing to  bcnsuportdol@copc.cat.

    Last updated 17/11/2020

  • Barcelona City Council has created a new virtual resource with collaboration from city organisations and institutions to help people cope with the psychological suffering resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic, within the framework of the shock plan on mental health.

    The Cabàs Emocional (CA) website includes resources and recommendations on good habits for coping with individual and collective adversity. It also provides tools for recognising emotions and learning how to handle them, as well as for helping people close to you who may be in a crisis.

    Situations which can be tackled with the content from the new website include mourning and the loss of loved ones, overburdening due to the care of others or continued coexistence with ill or dependent people, prolonged situations of physical isolation, distress over the loss of jobs and income, feelings relating to missed opportunities, concerns over an uncertain future, as well as tools for parents of children and teenagers. 

    The project also includes online activities and training, along with digital resources such as documents, guides, videos and audio files.

    Who is Cabàs Emocional aimed at?

    The initiative is aimed at anyone experiencing psychological distress such as anxiety, stress, difficulty relating to others, insomnia and profound sadness. 

    While the initiative is specifically intended for people facing particularly difficult situations resulting from Covid-19, such as women, the elderly, young people and teenagers, it is also useful for people who are active in support networks, professional teams and volunteers with local services.

    Last updated: 12/08/2020

  • The psychological support service for teenagers and young people to prevent mental health problems offers assistance by phone and by email, due to the current health restrictions.

    The service also offers advice for professional teams working with people in this age range.

    Two new support points are due to open in Gràcia and L’Eixample before the end of the year.

    Konsulta’m (ES)

  • If you need emotional or psychological support because of the current circumstances, you can call the Hepeline (24 hrs): 682 900 500.

     The following numbers are also available for specific groups:

    • Essential services staff: 935 678 856 (from 9 am to 10 pm, Monday to Sunday)
    • Self-employed professionals: 900 505 805 from 6 am to 12 midnight, Monday to Sunday). Password: AUTONOMS2020
    • Domestic and care workers: 900 505 805 (from 6 am to 12 midnight, Monday to Sunday). Password: DOMICILIO2020

    Support for suicide prevention

    • Free suicide prevention helpline on 900 925 555 (round the clock, 365 days a year) specifically to handle calls from people demonstrating suicidal ideas or similar. 
    • Suicide prevention support point, intended to assist relatives, friends and workmates of people at risk of committing suicide. Programmed visits will be offered by Barcelona Cuida (tel. 934 132 121).

    The 24-hour helpline has answered about 130 calls in its first month of operation (CA). The service has helped people ranging from those with suicidal behaviours or intentions to relatives or friends of people at risk of suicide or who have died in this way. 62% of calls have been from women.

    Specific support for young people and teenagers

    Municipal services that deal with the mental and emotional health of young people and teenagers and their families have also launched telephone helplines and online channels:

    • Service for Teenagers and Families (SAIF):

      Made up of a service for listening and accompanying young people aged 12 to 20 “Aquí t’escoltem” [We listen to you here] and by the Centre for Families with Teenagers, SAIF, is launching a new contact telephone helpline for assisting all queries: 601 641 056.

      You can text the service on WhatsApp, Mondays to Fridays, from 10 am to 2 pm and from 4 pm to 7 pm, and you will then be contacted.  You will have to state your name, age, district of residence and, briefly, the reason for your enquiry.

      If you prefer, you can also call them or receive confidential individual assistance from both services through their usual specific channels (ES)
    •  ‘Konsulta’m’ service: get in touch by emailing the addresses provided or phoning the numbers on this list (CA).

    Latest update 10/09/2020

  • The City Council has published two guides so that people acting as leisure and sports activities educators and monitors with children, teenagers and young people this summer will have practical tools for dealing with the special circumstances arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. The materials have been created taking into account that the children will be attending these activities after months of lockdown at home, in some cases in very tough situations.

    The published guides are as follows:

    This guides is complemented with free telephone helpline 649 756 713 (Mondays to Fridays, from 9 am to 5 pm, and on Saturdays, from 9 am to 1 pm), which will be in service during the holidays so that young children, teenagers, families, legal guardians and/or education and leisure professionals can make any inquiries there they believe appropriate.

    The guides are part of the extraordinary summer plan that the City Council is implementing in response to the health, social and financial impact of the COVID-19 crisis on young children and teenagers, in particular in the priority-action neighbourhoods marked out under the Neighbourhood Plan.

    Further information (ES)

    Last updated: 17/06/2020

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