NewsBefore corona waves, more calls to telephone counseling

Before corona waves, more calls to telephone counseling

The corona pandemic unsettles many people. Fears and worries grow especially in the face of a new wave. The telephone counseling is then very busy.

Bochum – loneliness, insecurity and worries in the pandemic have reflected in the telephone counseling.

“We have found that the need for discussions always increases shortly before a corona wave and then subsides again a little later. In quiet times there are 2500, 2800 calls a day, then it increases to up to 3500 calls per day, “says Ludger Storch, who deals with statistics on telephone counseling and heads the telephone counseling in Bochum. According to him, 44,600 e-mails were answered and 33,500 chats carried out in 2020, and he expects about the same number for the year to come.

Since mid-November – in view of the rising incidence numbers and the discrepancies between vaccinated and unvaccinated people – the pandemic has increased again. In the eastern and southern German federal states, more than every fifth conversation revolves around it, in the national average about every ninth.

Many feel lonely

Compared to before the pandemic, significantly more people discussed loneliness and isolation throughout the year – for example because people no longer come to visit due to the pandemic and those calling cannot maintain their relationships as usual. More than 23 percent felt lonely, in 2018 it was 16 percent.

It is also noticeable that more callers named their fears (14 percent, before the pandemic: 12 percent), says Storch. “In the first Corona wave in particular, many people came forward with vague worries and fears. Whenever it is unclear how things will proceed, for example with the Delta variant, more questions come from people who are cautious and have previous illnesses .

Many parents, children and young people also contact the “number against Kummer”. In 2020 there were a total of 128,500 consultations, the figures for the current year are not yet known. Even more young people were looking for advice via chat and more adults contacted the “parents’ phone”, according to the association. Both offers should therefore also be available for longer in 2022. dpa

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