Aquí Estoy Hotline Costa Rica

Costa Rica responds to 824 calls for psychological help in 2023

Costa Rica responds to 824 calls for psychological help in 2023

The Ministry of Public Education, Costa Rica (MEP) attended to 824 calls for psychological first aid in 2023.

During 2023, the “Here I Am” (Aquí Estoy) hotline addressed 824 calls for psychological first aid and emotional support for students and their families.

This service provides support, counseling, and follow-up to students and their relatives when they are facing situations such as anxiety crises, signs of depression, instances of violence, mood changes, difficulties in interpersonal relationships, with friends or family, among others. It also offers attention to the population presenting self-inflicted injuries or at risk of suicide.

Of the total calls attended to, 84% were from women and 16% from men. Additionally, based on the recipients of care, 28% were students, 57% were family members, and 14% were teachers, technical personnel, administrative staff, among other members of the educational community.

The assistance is provided by psychology professionals working in various instances of the Ministry of Public Education (MEP), such as the Student Life Directorate, Regional Education Directorates, or interdisciplinary teams in educational centers. They are trained to ensure a space for active listening, emotional support, and informed guidance for the user.

Follow-up is also given to cases during the phone assistance, and referrals to other institutional services are managed.

The most recurrent issues addressed on the hotline are emotional difficulties (61% – anxious or depressive symptoms, family or home coexistence problems), information requests (18%), academic matters (7%), suicide risk (6%), and manifestations of violence (3%).

The telephone assistance service is free and aims to promote the mental health and overall well-being of students enrolled in the Costa Rican education system and their families.

This project is led by the Student Life Directorate (DVE) of the MEP since 2020. During its implementation, there has been collaboration with UNICEF Costa Rica and technical support from the College of Professionals in Psychology of Costa Rica.

The service will be on hiatus during year-end and New Year vacations and will resume with the return to classes. In case of emergency, it is recommended to call 9-1-1 or the phone 800-2737869, the line of the College of Professionals in Psychology of Costa Rica.

 

 

“Here I Am” Line

Its objective is to provide a free telephone support service for emotional situations affecting the mental health and overall well-being of students enrolled in the Costa Rican education system and their families. It is a project led by the Student Life Directorate since 2020 as a response to the declaration of a national state of emergency due to the COVID-19 disease, and it continues to operate.

What services does the “Here I Am” Line offer?

The “Here I Am” Line provides support, counseling, and follow-up for situations such as anxiety crises, signs of depression, instances of violence, mood changes, difficulties in interpersonal relationships, with friends or family, among others. It also offers attention to the population presenting self-inflicted injuries or at risk of suicide.

This service is attended by psychology professionals working in various instances of the MEP (Student Life Directorate, Regional Education Directorates, or interdisciplinary teams in educational centers). They are trained in providing Psychological First Aid to ensure a space for active listening, emotional support, and informed guidance for the user. Additionally, follow-up calls are provided, and referrals are managed to other MEP institutional services or external institutional services.

Regarding the attention to situations expressed or identified regarding the risk of educational exclusion, student retention, or reintegration, direct coordination is made with the Regional Permanence Team existing in all Regional Education Directorates of the MEP to activate the Early Warning protocol.

 


Soledad Quartucci | CEO/Founder, Latina Republic

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