COVID-19: Counselling provider receives 600-plus calls

The Ministry of Education is understood to have contacted Empower Pacific for counsellors, who are expected to be sent to Ratu Navula College today. Picture: SUPPLIED

Empower Pacific has received more than 600 calls from Lautoka and the maritime area from people who needed food and medicine and those who were traumatised by COVID-19.

CEO Patrick Morgam said he was expecting more calls from the greater Suva area after it went on lockdown last week.

The Lautoka-based counselling organisation activated its phone service two weeks ago to cater to residents in the greater Lautoka area who have been affected by movement restrictions.

Mr Morgam said Fijians who may have gone through emotional stress were calling them for counselling.

“This phone service is open to the whole of Fiji so anyone who needs to talk or may need to acquire some services can call us on 2937141 (Vodafone) and 7765626 (Digicel),” he said.

“We will then contact other authorities if need be so they can attend to the callers’ needs.

“So many people call to request for food and medicine and they were mostly from the Lautoka area.”

Mr Morgam said calls came from as far as Yasawa and Mamanuca from people who needed assistance.

He said they also hoped to work with local telecommunications companies who could give their counsellors some talk time to deal with issues.

“Right now, we are buying recharge for our counsellors.

“Callers will call and give us their details and our counsellors will call them back.”

Mr Morgam said a lot of Fijians were going through one of the most difficult periods of their lives and it was vital they shared their stories with someone.

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