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Volunteers for Virtual Talking Groups, Psychological First Aid and referrals to online mental health and psychosocial support(MHPSS)

Build a network to train & support volunteers and MHPSS staff to offer and facilitate online talking groups and non-physical MHPSS support

Photo of Friederike null
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Written by

Someone openly inviting to a zoom session to reflect together on what we can do now. we were 7 people (I didn't know any of them before) in a deep meaningful conversation, inspiring each other. I also liked how the German chancellor addressed the people via TV message in a caring, honest voice. Also, some messages were shared in social media about the positive side effect of sticking with the measures to prevent the Covid-19 spread.

Upload or share a link to this resource/message/source of information to share it with others.

Being in meaningful conversations with other people in a similar situation can be energizing and lighting up the day for people who feel isolated, stressed, scared and alone.

Did this resource motivate you to change your behaviors?

  • Yes

In what ways did you change your behaviors as a result of this resource?

I found what I want to do, to volunteer, came to this idea and started sending out offers/ invitations to several people

Did you share this information with your network?

  • Yes

In what ways did you share this information?

writing, social online networks

Where are you getting information around COVID-19?

  • National Government
  • News: Television
  • News: Digital
  • News: Radio
  • Social Media
  • WHO (World Health Organization)
  • Employer

What information do you feel you are missing about COVID-19?

That the measures to slow down are a chance to consider what is really essential and find ways to keep social contacts while physical proximity should be avoided.

What populations or personas are not currently being addressed with today’s COVID-19 information?

some younger people

What is your current profession?


In what city are you located?

Heilbronn (normally Monrovia, I try to get back there, it's difficult)

In what country are you located?

Germany (normally Liberia, hope to be there soon again...)


Join the conversation:

Photo of Ashley Tillman

Hi Friederike, I love this idea, would love to hear more what inspired it?

Photo of Friederike null

Thank you for asking, I am glad you like it!

I was in China in 2003 when SARS broke out, I was in Liberia in 2014 when Ebola came... there I built and led MHPSS structures, activities, team and programme in and around two rural Ebola treatment units.

I experienced during the Ebola-crisis: the virus only affects the bodies of relatively few people, but experiencing loved ones getting sick, and the measures to fight the virus (as necessary as they are) have huge negative side effects for the psychosocial well-being of a huge number of people, while at the same time blocking some of the most effective usual coping mechanisms: those involving social and physical presence of other people.

With a highly affected community I co-created "social reconnection groups" to cope, find ways to process what had happened, allow grief and overcome isolation, negative feelings and symptoms of depression or PTDSD.... I trained my team to hold space and allow them to make the groups to what they needed for themselves. Was amazing experience.

Recently I have been active with Theory U, Warm Data Labs and virtual groups holding deep, energizing, nurturing conversation, learning together, practicing how to hold space... very helpful and beautiful.

So now I want to bring this all together. Still looking for where how when. If you or anyone else is interested in exploring and playing around with formats for virtual groups lifting people up, you are invited to join my u.lab2x team and continue the exploration there: Intercultural Cosmovisions