Psychological Support for Families and Health Care Professionals

The Brazilian Parents of Preemies’ Association,, in partnership with invited psychologists, has provided free psychological assistance during the last months to dozens of parents and medical experts working in NICUs, focusing, above all, on the current pandemic situation by COVID-19. With funding provided by Chiesi, the association managed to coordinate this project to promote mental health in times of this ongoing pandemic.

The project aimed to guide, ease anxieties, clarify and welcome. Many beliefs and fears, which appear during the postpartum period and around the discharge of a preterm baby, evidenced during the pandemic, could be addressed. Nowadays, parents do not only worry about their preterm baby’s health and development there is also the uncertainty caused by the pandemic in general and the health risks for newborns that are still unknown in regards to the virus.

In this global crisis, it is worth mentioning that mental health care is everyone’s right, whether at specific times in our lives or in maintaining emotional health throughout it. Attention to the mother-baby moment is extremely important, taking into account that it is from these first contacts that the quality of health of both depends.

When we talk about healthcare professionals, the constant training and strict protocols implemented to avoid contamination by the coronavirus in hospital environments, have tripled their work. With this project, the goal was also to care for the carers and address their desires, insecurities and expectations.

Doctors, nurses, technicians, hygiene staff, concierges and other collaborators, this project offered support in prevention and health promotion. People were attended for free, by video or audio call, without compromising the quality of the service provided by the team of psychologists.

The positive impact caused to the mental health of those assisted by the project (emotional relief for parents of preterm babies and improvement in the mental health of healthcare professionals working in the field of Neonatology) will have a long-lasting effect, ensuring a better coping with situations of day-to-day life, moreover with the possibility of the pandemic lasting longer than we expect.

More than 60 people, among families and professionals, benefited from this project which was a real success thanks to the team of psychologists.

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