The Red Cross has launched a new phone service — COVID Connect — aimed at people feeling lonely during self-isolation. Designed with the elderly in mind who may not be across social media, the service, says RED Cross CEO Judy Slatyer, was there to “fill the void”. “COVID CONNECT offers people the ability to just talk to someone through a social chat; to learn ways to improve on their current level of social connection, and better connect with their community,” she said.
People can choose how often they receive a call from a Red Cross volunteer — it can be daily, or a couple of times a week. “We are already seeing the impact that self-isolation is having on the mental health of Australians. Counselling services are reporting record calls as people struggle to cope with the anxiety prompted by COVID-19, reporting that most of the anxiety was not about potentially becoming sick with the virus, but about the sudden social isolation being forced on many,” said Slatyer.