Disabled psychologists run hot line

As part of an
experimental social project, consultants with disabilities will offer free
counselling to members of the community


Disabled psychologists at the start of their careers are
working as consultants on a hotline in Moscow. Anyone is able to seek
psychological help. This includes people who have limited access to healthcare
(the first priority is given to teenagers, young and middle-aged people), and
also their relatives, loved ones and friends.


Free counselling is offered within the scope of the project In Helping Others You Help Yourself,
developed by the Moscow City’s Psychological-Pedagogical University’s Faculty
of Distance Learning and the Regional Charitable Social Foundation for
the Support of Socially Dependent Categories of Citizen.
‘Psychologists with
disabilities are a new social phenomenon’- says the coordinator of the project,
Vera Zakharova, who formerly was the consultant and manager of the Telephone of Trust service.


The telephone service started in June. Since this time, the
hotline has received 80 calls. As an analysis of the call traffic shows, the
majority of the clients are internet users. When the hotline operates during
the business hours of the working week, the major client category comprises
freelance workers, housewives and those who are temporarily unemployed. The
reasons why people call the service are extremely varied: loneliness, depression,
anxiety regarding the death of loved ones, matrimonial problems, childcare
problems, the meaning of life and self-acceptance. The majority of clients are
under 35. About 10% of callers to the Telephone
of Trust
are either themselves disabled, or are the parents of disabled


 ‘Our consultants
really like their profession. Typically a disabled person is thought to depend
on others for help, but here, we have the opposite of the norm; disabled people
helping others. In order for consultants to become more confident, they need to
acquire experience. We are grateful to those people who respond to our adverts
on social networking sites and call us. They get help for themselves and at the
same time our consultants obtain professional experience’ – remarks Vera


The disabled psychologists also carry out online
consultations. It is possible to obtain remote counselling round the clock and
at your convenience on a remote counselling platform’s online forum:
and on the social networking site, Vkontakte


The project In Helping
Others You Help Yourself
will continue until October. The organisers’
future plans include the creation of a permanent Centre for Remote


Free counselling can be reached on 8 (495) 989-65-83,
Monday-Friday, 12.00-18.00.



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