The coronavirus outbreak will increase solitude and the financial burden of vulnerable people, Caritas Malta fears, after it too had to stop face-to-face contact with its clients as a precaution against the coronavirus.

The Church charity organisation has launched four telephone numbers for its clients to keep in touch with a psychologist, psychotherapist and social worker.

“Sometimes, all they need is someone who can listen to them, as a lot of our clients suffer from loneliness. We cannot leave vulnerable people, including those with mental health issues and the elderly, on their own,” a spokesperson said.

“The need of Caritas’ services is in high demand at the moment, as the coronavirus outbreak has increased anxiety and solitude among several. At the same time, it has forced us to cut physical contact with those who are most in need,” she added.

We cannot leave vulnerable people on their own

Caritas is trying to adapt its services. It will, for instance, hold video conferences with clients who attend its weekly meetings, such as Emotions Anonymous.

Meanwhile, at Dar Papa FranÄ¡isku and Dar Maria Dolores in Birkirkara, daily meals for those in need are now being provided as ‘packed lunches’, handed out to clients through the window.

The shelters are run by Dar il-Hena foundation, a collaboration between the government, the Church and the Alfred Mizzi Foundation.

Discussions are taking place about the shelter service to the homeless.

“Our heart goes out to foreign workers who are being laid off, finding themselves in financial difficulties and who could face repatriation.

“Unemployment and the lack of a sense of security and stability will also have a big impact on their mental health. We want to reach out to people and let them know that they can still find help,” the spokesperson added.

Caritas is receiving calls or text messages from its clients on 7921 3480, 7921 3479, 7921 3482 and 9912 2515. People can also send an email on help@caritasmalta.org

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