National non-profit Interrelate delivers free mediation, family and domestic violence support and relationships services online during isolation and social distancing via chat, video conferencing and mobile phone.
“It’s vitally important that we are able to continue to deliver these services to highly stressed families who are already experiencing traumatic events in their lives,” says Patricia Occelli, Interrelate CEO.
Interrelate’s counselling, family dispute resolution, domestic and family violence specialist support services (including male victim support), and Children’s Contact Services (CCS) will continue to be provided to the community.
“We understand that, in some cases, families may have limited access to internet or phone services at home and would advise that they contact their phone or internet carrier to enquire about additional access.”
COVID-19 (Corona) is presenting unparalleled challenges for everyone, including added social and psychological stresses. The influx of ever-changing information will prove to be stress-provoking for many families.
As COVID-19 is rapidly evolving and new details are confirmed, causing overwhelm for children and parents and resulting in increased levels of anxiety, having access to counsel from someone who understands their situation, background, community and available support systems is vital to managing through this situation.
“Each new development and announcement will impact families, with further restrictions on movement and more confinement to the home,” says Occelli. “But the family courts are still in operation and vulnerable people need access to quality specialised support, which we’ve successfully put in place and are offering free during the COVID-19 crisis.”
The changes in lifestyle will result in additional strain on family relationships. Many children are completing schooling at home with parents and other family members also working from home. As families need to also distance from grandparents, this is also resulting in added pressure and the challenge of finding alternative childcare arrangements. Access to high-quality relationship services will offer additional skills that families may not have needed outside of these unusual circumstances.
Interrelate has also created a series of resources aimed at managing relationship and family issues during times of crisis, self-isolation, and lock-down, including how to support children, staying connected and managing working from home.